Um Al Dhabab (Mother of Fog) (2023)

Farah Al Qasimi
Um Al Dhabab (Mother of Fog)
2- channel video
29 minutes 45 seconds
Co-produced by Sharjah Art Foundation and KADIST, Paris and San Francisco
Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line, Dubai; and Francois Ghebaly, Los Angeles


Emirati-Lebanese artist Farah Al Qasimi’s multidisciplinary practice examines postcolonial power structures and gender roles and is visually grounded in the aesthetics of post-internet consumer culture. Relayed across various locations in Ras Al Khaimah, her film Um Al Dhabab (Mother of Fog) (2023) contests the myth perpetuated by the British Empire and western academia of Al Qasimi tribe- instigated piracy in the Gulf. Through the perspectives of the ghost of an Al Qasimi pirate and a British naval officer, the film recounts the 1819 siege of Al Dhayah fort and the subsequent peace-brokering treaty. The work challenges western-centric historiographies of the Gulf and the lingering imperialist interests at play across Asia’s trade hub, while also weaving in contemporary interpretations of pirate culture.