On Foraging: Food Knowledge and Environmental Imaginaries in the UAE's Landscape

9 October - 25 December
10:00 - 20:00

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On Foraging: Food Knowledge and Environmental Imaginaries in the UAE's Landscape

To forage is to search for potential in a landscape, spurred on by a lingering sense of the unknown. On Foraging explores the nuances of what it means to be in constant search of nurturing and feeding, for the individual and the collective, within seemingly arid environments. On Foraging explores the long and multifaceted history of an environment that has for generations fed its own people and others in a rich variety of ways. There are deep reserves of cultural and agricultural knowledge that have been passed down through generations that continue to be tapped into and added to today and On Foraging reveals the work that goes into unearthing the landscape through a confluence of personal and collective narratives. Our project  foregrounds these moments and for what it means to nurture across multiple scales. 


Our research and conversations have illuminated three entangled registers in which food knowledge performs. First, we discovered how domestic food production in private farms reveals narratives of intergenerational learning and kinship. Second, we identified how entrepreneurial farming, including organic, hydroponic, and oyster farming, creates alternative food narratives within arid environments. Finally, we observed the ways in which the supply of produce is addressed and confronted at the national register, specifically around the development of language that suggests a collective responsibility.


The artworks displayed in this exhibition highlight and amplify these entanglements. The questions and narratives that they reveal are particularly timely given the rising challenges of reclaiming narrative as well as global issues around climate change. This is a call for historical food knowledge to be brought forward, reexamined, and rediscovered.


Curators: Dima Srouji, Faysal Tabbarah, and Meitha Almazrooei


Photo Credits


Sweet Potatoes, 2016-2019

Sizes Vary
Charcoal drawings, Tin Boxes

On loan from the Artist

In-Gallery Activity

Families are invited to explore our exhibition and make art together, using material that engage Warehouse421’s exhibition. This in-gallery activity will be self-led and will include educational leaflets and props suitable for 7–12 year-olds, available at Warehouse421 Reception.

Exhibition Guided Tours

The Exhibition Guided Tours takes around 45 minutes long and is led by Warehouse421 Docents. Our Knowledgeable Docents will guide you through the exhibition and will highlight the artworks, artists and the curators of the exhibition. Tours are tailored as per audience segment,and are held in either Arabic or English.You can find dates, timing, and language in the calendar. Please note to register in advance, the tours are free of charge! Sunday & Tuesday.


Tactile Station & Book - On Foraging Exhibition

The Tactile Books are part of Warehouse421’s strategy to inclusivity in our offerings. This project aims to initiate a mediation point using illustrated educational booklets. These booklets are designed for children with visual impairments to widen their visual and verbal literacy skills in art. The projects are in collaboration with SEDRA Foundation for Inclusion, and designed by our former intern, Amna Al Memmari, with support of Fatema (Last Name).

Audio Guide

Warehouse421 Audio Guide will be available to enrich audiences' experience by highlighting some artworks of the exhibition. This project is in collaboration with SEDRA Foundation for Inclusion, and designed to allow development for visual stimulation of artworks on display.