#BarakabilityArt & PhotographyThe Arts

Drab Street Gets a Brilliant One-Night Makeover

Art took to the streets of Dubai last weekend, staging a one-night takeover of the industrial area of Al-Quoz. For six packed hours, Boulevart” flooded a closed-off thoroughfare with live music, beat-boxing, and a break-dancing competition. To these harmonies, artists created murals and other on-site works that took them “out of their comfort zones” and brought the city up to a new level of aesthetic spontaneity.

The beating heart of the festival was the wish to bring colorful beauty to an oft-neglected area—not only on its walls but on two buses used to transport resident workers, which Gary Young and START transformed into colorful murals-on-wheels. Organized by by Al-Quoz Beautifucation Project and sponsored by Arabtec, the festival lasted only one evening, but its organizers hope its spirit will stay and spread.

“Dubai is full of potential but still lacking in these kind of events,” says organizer Andrea Risso. “We wanted to create an event done by the community for the community, where everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and contribute.” All artwork produced was available for auction, and the proceeds will fund upcoming beautification initiatives.

For more info –  Al-Quoz website




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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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