Archiving memories

Qasr Al Hosn Festival

Abu Dhabi (UAE)

Our first project in the United Arab Emirates has been successfully completed: we designed two exhibitions in the former Cultural Foundation Building at the annual Qasr Al Hosn Festival in Abu Dhabi. During the festival at the heart of the city on the grounds of the Qasr Al Hosn fort, the history of the fort and Emirati culture and traditions are celebrated. Through demonstrations, workshops and live performances the visitors go back in time to discover life as it used to be in Abu Dhabi’s coastal village and learn about the origins of Emirati heritage.

Abu Dhabi (UAE)
People-Creative, on behalf of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority
200 + 400 m2
Spatial design, graphic design
Hermann Kossmann (lead), Martin Saemmer, Remco Swart
Research and curation
Barker Langham
Light design
People-Creative, Kossmanndejong
Interactive Animations
People-Creative, Little big fish films
Realisation and AV hardware
Little big fish films, JK58
Anatomy of a photograph: Iconic images from the past

The exhibition, ‘Anatomy of a photograph: iconic images from the past’, reveals hidden stories of the past. After a brief introduction, You enter a mysterious black box including an engaging audio-visual experience. Walking through a spatial arrangement of nine lucent projection screens, the story behind five historical iconic photographs is brought to life in a special synchronised video animation on all the screens. Through a thoroughly deconstruction of each photo, visitors are challenged to watch the photos very closely and to consider their real meaning. The show is alternating in Arabic and English.

Archives and memories: capturing the nation’s story

In the second exhibition, ‘Archives and memories: capturing the nation’s story’, you could explore important treasures of the archival collections of Abu Dhabi. Surrounded by an impressive shelf system with cardboard archive boxes the audience gets introduced to the eight existing archives of Abu Dhabi. In the following halls the visitor is taken on a labyrinthic discovery tour through different worlds of collections, arranged by different types of media – for instance a world of historic photos is followed by a world of historic films, in which the archives collectively are represented. The exploration ends in an interactive photo room, where you can make a selfie like if you stand in one of the historic photographs. A souvenir to add to the visitor’s personal archive.

The Qasr Al Hosn Festival took place between 3 and 13 February in Abu Dhabi. In this period a record number of over 140,000 people visited the festival.