Project Details:

In October 2010 an eclectic collection of one hundred objects relating to the UAE came together in thejamjar for the annual exhibition, "Muqtanayati", Curated by Sonia Brewin and Rachael Brown.

Taking place again in 2011 to coincide with the UAE National Day celebrations, Muqtanayati will build on the success of this pioneering exhibition concept continuing to foster cross-cultural relationships amongst the community of the UAE.

Members of the community are once again invited to submit an object which they feel has a link to their journey in the UAE, one hundred of which will be selected and presented in thejamjar in the categories of Art, Artifact and Domesticity. These categories echo the language of museums, but this collection of objects presents a fresh twist on the realm of archival collections, allowing the public to act as historians and have a say in which cultural and historical objects can be used to chronicle a country.

The 2010 exhibition saw a collection of objects that was simultaneously fascinating and included genuine historical objects, such as Dubai Creek pearls, UAE coins from the 1980s; traditional Arabic wedding jewelery, and the oldest object on display - an Ijazet (a license given by a master calligrapher to his apprentice) dating back to 1874. Other objects were more recent, including Dubai-based artist James Clar's light box piece "Site Blocked", which recreated the UAE's site blocked internet page, serving as a reminder of the need to respect and understand the culture of a country where many of us are temporary residents.

One of the highlights of the exhibition was undoubtedly the process of discovering the rich stories behind each object and the emotional significance attached. Katrina Weber donated a jar of honey to the collection, given to her by a taxi driver called Alam who she came to know on her daily trips to work. When Alam went back to visit his family in Pakistan he brought Katrina the honey back to share "a taste of his home country". Sadly, the floods in the summer of 2010 destroyed Alam's family's house in Pakistan and he had to leave Dubai for good to take care of his family.

The ongoing Muqtanayati project aims to engage the local community and create a platform for sharing our sometimes disparate but over-lapping experiences of living in the UAE. At the same time, it offers a snapshot of the UAE's past and present from intensely personal viewpoints.

Details below:


Everyone living in the UAE is invited to participate by submitting an object to the exhibition's collection of one hundred treasures which is made possible only through public loans.

Any objects submitted must go through the selection committee who will be open to receiving a JPEG of the object and a description of its importance in the life of the person in the UAE. To be considered in the selection process send your submission by 29th October 2011. If selected, the object will need to be delivered to thejamjar on Saturday 19th November 2011.

All selected participants will have their objects featured in the exhibition, catalogue and will be invited to the opening on 30th November 2011 at thejamjar. Following the opening the exhibition will be open to the public until 1st January 2012.


Submit your application to by 29th October 2011.

What to send:

  • High Resolution 300dpi JPEG image of the object that is being submitted
  • Please title the file with the object name and the name of the person who is submitting the object.
  • Description of its importance in no more than 150 words
  • Measurements in centimeters, height x width x depth
  • Estimate of object’s age

One hundred objects will be selected and presented in categories of history, domesticity and art, placing sentimental tokens on the same level as historical artifact, weaving together the personal fragments into a cumulative patchwork tapestry of the UAE’s identity.


1. Students will take creative photographs of historical artifacts in their or their family's possession. By doing so, they will be practising and developing their photography.
2. Understand the historical context of the UAE and their relationship to it.


1. This is an individual project.
2. Read and understand the full brief of the project.
3. Select a historical object or objects that is in your or your family's possession. Please photograph ONLY those objects you are willing to send to the exhibition in case your submission gets selected!!
4. Photograph the object or objects. Be creative with this.
5. Fill out the Muqtanyati Submission form (one per entry).
6. By October 29, submit the required photograph(s) with the Muqtanyati Submission Form to Please make sure to CC: me on your email to jamjar.
7. If your entry is selected for display, you are required to send the item(s)to JamJar

Time Frame

This project will end on October 29 and all material must be submitted on or by that date.



For JamJar (make sure to fill out the Muqtanyati Submission form (one per entry):

  • High Resolution 300dpi JPEG image of the object that is being submitted
  • Please title the file with the object name and the name of the person who is submitting the object.
  • Description of its importance in no more than 150 words
  • Measurements in centimeters, height x width x depth
  • Estimate of object’s age

For me, a nicely formatted report containing:

  • a color printout of the photo of the object(s) being submitted
  • Underneath the printout, a description of the importance of the object(s) in at least 150 words
  • Underneath the printout and description, the measurements in centimeters, height x width x depth of the object(s)
  • Estimate of object’s age
3. Please copy me on your email to JamJar. This is another deliverable


1. Article: What Makes a Photo Good?
2. Article: Some of What I've Learned About & From Photography?
3. Article: The Secret: What Makes a Great Photo
4. Article: What Makes A Good Photo?
5. Article: What Makes A Good Photo?
6. Student entries from 2010.


This project will be worth approximately 10% of the total course grades for LSFA-N254.

The project will be marked based on the QUALITY of output and effort, the completeness and creativity of the submission and the uniqueness of the entry. Students who submit more photographs will receive a higher mark than another student who submits only one photograph. Any student whose submits two or more entries which are selected for the exhibit will be awarded an "A" for this project (provided the student submits their materials for display at the exhibition). Students whose items are selected but choose not to submit their materials will get a "D" (so please make sure to select your items carefully).