Mendeel Um A7mad is an art project created by kuwaiti -but New York based- artists Fatima Al Qadiri and Khalid Al Gharaballi in collaboration with Kuwait-based designers Aziz Alqatami and Nanu Al-Hamad. It’s not new but I just came across it and thought it’s worth sharing. The project focuses on Chai Al-Dhaha (the ritual of pre-noon tea amongst middle-aged Kuwaiti women) as a traditional Kuwaiti icon that hasn’t been getting any attention compared to the similar diwaniya for men.
The project consists of two parts, the first is the setting itself, shaped like a huge tissue box as a main part of any Chai Dhaha gathering. the second part is a film projected inside that tissue box.
The film was shot in Kuwait at a hotel ballroom opposing to a residential living room, to illustrate the absurd spatial conditions of post-oil boom in the Kuwaiti house interiors. Four middle-aged female characters are played by a cast of younger men, honoring legendary actor Abdul-Aziz Al Nimish, who for decades performed the roles of mature women when it was considered “3aib” for women of that age group to perform in public.
The film is very attractive. The actors really earned their parts, specially the one with the short blonde wig. It feels like you’re watching a real middle aged women’s gathering. Which is surprising since the actors were all men!
Read more about Mendeel Um A7mad on DisMagazine
Watch the film below