Al Bidiya Mosque in Fujairah, UAE "A VESSEL OF CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS HERITAGE IN THE EMIRATES TODAY" A phenomenological photographical Study

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Marco Sosa

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The proposed paper entitled: The Al Bidiya Mosque in Fujairah: A Vessel Of Cultural and Religious Heritage in the Emirates Today, is a phenomenological Study which explores the philosophical design of the Al Bidiya Mosque based on the experience of building materials and their sensory properties. This study is accompanied by extensive photographic research carried out at the oldest recorded functional mosque in the UAE, whose estimated construction date sits between 1650 and 1670 AD. The photographic research which accompanies my paper (which is currently being published by the Zayed University Books), is the first formal photographic research documentation of this historic structure. As an architect and interior designer, I have selected the medium of black and white photography to capture my subject utilizing my signature technique of collaging imagery together (see enclosed images) to emanate an enigmatic presence that is suitable for capturing the textures and the poetic interplay of light and shadow of the building's materiality- the phenomenology of the place. The images alone tell a story that documents glimpses of occupation and use of the structure as more than just ruins. The images aim to emphasize a system that expresses the building's artistic beauty, the material presence and at the same time demonstrates human occupation along with the humanity and purpose of the place as a space of worship. Over the last 20 years, the UAE has gone through a dramatic emergence of contemporary architecture influenced from all over the world. The Al Bidiya Mosque is paradigmatic for an architecture with explicit relationship to the culture of the region. The presentation of the paper will increase cultural and religious understanding of the UAE in Northern Europe. This is a great opportunity to showcase a glimpse of Emirati History.


Arts and Humanities

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