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30 October 2019 ‎‏The Kingdom of Bahrain Participates in Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019
‎‏The Kingdom of Bahrain Participates in Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019


The Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities is proud to have facilitated the participation of Civil Architecture by Ali Karimi and Hamed Bukhamseen, enabling them to take part in  the Oslo Architecture Triennale, which will run until 24 November 2019. This cultural participation titled “Two Thousand Years of Non-Urban History” looks at pre-oil planning in the Arabian Peninsula, is sponsored by TAMKEEN fund with the participation of BACA’s field research team.

The participation is an installation architectural work  shedding light on planning strategies before the discovery of oil in Arabia. Selected from a competitive call for entries with over 400 submissions, the participation looks at the desert kites, water channels and fish traps of the Gulf as forms of early land planning and documentation of agricultural practices and the construction of fish traps in Bahrain by a selected talented engineers. Indeed, the history of the Arab Gulf states tends to be presented as one of monumental skylines emerging from a sparse landscape dominated by oil fields. Therefore, “Two Thousand Years of Non-Urban History” by Civil Architecture presents an alternative history of the region: a story of millennia of communal organization and planning around scarce resources and trade.

The installation includes three textiles by Bahraini artist Hala Kaiksow depicting each of these early forms of architecture, whereby the artist showcases magnificent traditional Bahraini weaving designs on carpet pieces portraying the natural water sewage and canals. Other photos taken by Hussain al Musawi and  Mariam al Arab,  as well as a fully illustrated publication with photographs by Dilmuni Couple, Camille Zakharia and Saudi photographer Moath Al-Ofi, are also exhibited. For more information about Civil Architecture company projects, please visit its website on

 The project will be shown at the National Museum for Architecture in Oslo until the end of November, moving to Bahrain later on. A  publication will be available online at Worth to mention that already in its 7th edition, the Oslo Architecture Triennale opened this week, exploring “the architecture of a radically transformed society in which cultural and ecological flourishing matter more than economic growth”. Under the title of Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth, the festival is questioning the damage caused to the environment by the constant economic growth.