2015 · Abu Dhabi
The book, Lest We Forget: Emirati Family Photographs 1950-1999, explores the experiences of Emirati people during the early decades of nation building. Daily life in this rapidly evolving landscape is captured through personal stories and family photographs. These differ from the widely known photographs taken by the government, oil companies, missionaries and travelers. They were not intended to document media events or official protocol; instead these candid images captured private, lasting memories. This is the first publication of such important vernacular material. A group of eight Emirati female students of Zayed University began this project four years ago, with nearly fifty students gradually contributing their family family photographs and oral histories to a collaboratively designed and authored book. Their professor, Dr. Michele Bambling, and renowned photographer Susan Meiselas guided the students' creative approach to exploring their family photographs. Documented by their own cameras and told through their own memories, the book offers an Emirati perspective on life in their nation during the second half of the twentieth century.
"This book and its accompanying exhibition and archive, was conceived as an extended research project I conducted with my students of curatorial practices at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, over a three-year period, beginning in 2010. Building on that foundation, I helped establish 'Lest We Forget' as a creative archival initiative under the auspices of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation. To date, more than one hundred Emirati female university students, interns and volunteers have since contributed their photographs, stories, memories, artistic talent and time to create the integral book, exhibition and archive collaboratively." (Accession No: OCLC: 949740926 / five holdings worldwide). (Inventory #: 47636)