World Weather Network: Nujoom Alghanem

As part of the World Weather Network, Art Jameel and Te Tuhi (Aotearoa New Zealand) have collaborated on a display of work by Nujoom Alghanem for the exhibition Huarere: Weather Eye, Weather Ear, curated by artist and climate scholar Janine Randerson and currently on show at Te Tuhi through July 2023.

Te Tuhi and Art Jameel invited Emirati artist Nujoom Alghanem to present works drawn from her documentary film Honey, Rain and Dust (2016) focusing on local beekeepers and their experiences domesticating bees as well as hunting for honey.

Presented at the Jameel lobby is the poster print of a still from the documentary, inscribed with a repetition of the word ‘saif’ (summer in Arabic) a reference to a poetic fragment by Nujoom that reads:

خمسةُ فصولٍ في هذهِ المدينة 

الصَّيفُ المختبئُ في كلِّ فَصلٍ

والصَّيفُ الذّي لا نهايةَ لهُ

There are five seasons in this city
The Summer that’s hiding in every season
and the Summer that never ends

The woman in the image is Aisha Al Naqbi, a wild honey hunter and the film’s protagonist who lives in Shis, a small town in the Northern Emirates.  Aisha is also a farmer and an expert in astronomy, particularly in relation to reading the stars and predicting weather patterns and plant cycles. Due to changing weather patterns, Aisha’s relationship to the land and her ability to forage for wild honey has also changed. The bottle of honey in her hand contains the amount she was able to forage during the winter of 2016. 

Also on display are reproductions of hand-drawn and annotated iterations of the Al Durour calendar where Nujoom introduces us to astronomical concepts that have long been part of local knowledge systems. An ambient  soundtrack extracted from the documentary plays alongside the works, featuring sounds  of a desert landscape including the buzz of wild bees that are crucial to maintaining its stable ecology.

Poster print:

Nujoom Alghanem, Field of Heat, Dust, and Swarming Bees, 2023.

Still from the film Honey, Rain and Dust (2016)

Courtesy of the artist and Aisha Alabbar Gallery

صيفٌ صيفٌ صيفٌ صيفٌ

صيفٌ صيفٌ صيفٌ صيفٌ

صيفٌ صيفٌ صيفٌ صيفٌ

صيفٌ صيفٌ صيفٌ صيفٌ

Summer Summer Summer Summer

Summer Summer Summer Summer

Summer Summer Summer Summer

Summer Summer Summer Summer

Learn more about Huarere: Weather Eye, Weather Ear at Te Tuhi.

Nujoom Alghanem is an Emirati poet, artist, and film director. She has published eight poetry collections and produced numerous films including seven feature documentaries and short fiction, documentary, and art films. Her films have won over 40 regional and international prizes. In 2019, she was the solo artist of the UAE National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She also received the Pride of the UAE Medal through the Mohammed bin Rashid Government Excellence Award. Nujoom co-founded Nahar Productions, a film production company based in Dubai, and is a professional mentor and trainer in art practices, filmmaking and creative writing. She is currently a trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, as well as an advisor to educational and cultural organizations.



You may also be interested in

Special Project

World Weather Network

June 21, 2022 - June 21, 2024

Jameel Arts Centre, Online


Artist’s Garden : Samur by Zheng Bo

February 4, 2023 - December 1, 2024

Artist Garden