A cultural revolution, led by Emirati women, to launch national brands that will erase the socio-political baggage shrouding their veiled canvas, protecting their fabric of faith from being bleached by globalization, seeking equal opportunities in their mall-a-minute culture, they use design as a vehicle to usher change & their veils as cultural armory
In the land of Multitudes of Maya, where 40% of the world’s luxury labels find a podium, there are no local brands visible! UAE’s Retail Explosion has been at the expense of its national brands. Local designers are sidelined and refused retail spaces in their mall-a-minute culture. Challenging this economical and emotional servitude, three young Emiratiennes daringly question ‘why the very fabric that wraps their inner faith should be imported.’ Zahra, Rabia and Deeya, work in economically and intellectually weak environments, struggle sans education or training, taking on a David & Goliath battle. Seeking to nurture national brands that erase the socio-political baggage that is engulfing their veiled canvas they defiantly open up a dialogue around the most controversial item of clothing in a post 9/11 world- the Arab Veils. Determined to lay a foundation for emerging Emiratiennes to embrace their individuality they stamp in elements reflecting their emerging cultural identities.

Questioning weak national policies on design education, demanding retail infrastructure, seeking support and subsidies to build national brands, they work towards creating a democratic council hoping to be supported by UAE’s liberal monarchy. 2009, Dubai’s downturn makes it less lucrative for International labels; now the onus falls on local labels to rise & to rewrite a new fate with faith. Evocatively illustrated and artistically shot, this documentary erases misconceptions through first person stories of three strong-willed women. Interviews with local leaders and educated Muslim women reveal a hereto unknown side. Etching the images of our protagonists in the hearts of global audience, we reveal their passionate and committed struggle to grow national labels in stunted environments. Going from the moment when they are behind veils, we follow them from their very first showing, until their unveiling as they reveal the beauty behind their veiled canvas through their own strong beliefs.

The raised voice of everyday women sharing their struggle gives us a clear understanding of the enormity at stake. Revealing the unselfish commitment, we share their struggle and the strength of their hopes to provide a voice that will empower future women from the emirates. It’s this quality that makes them iconic figures for global audiences to empathize with. The economic upheaval in the world is reflected in the lives of our key protagonists and against this wider canvas our stories unfold. Mirroring these convulsive changes in socio-economic orders, this film is shot over 3years, from the high octane days of 2008 to the economic upheaval of 2010. How will this change play out in emerging economies? How does it affect the lives of our key protagonists? Exploring the many perspectives of this Rubik-cube like equation, we reveal of the most fascinating economic and cultural chrysalises in the world.

Shot Across: UAE. USA
Final Cut Dec 2010
Now Showing @ The Cultures of Islam Institute - 19 rue Léon
Friday 6th 7.30pm followed by a Debate