Drawing upon a unique collection of historical photographs and postcards, Departures will reveal the great diversity of the Islamic world’s social and cultural life. The exhibition will explore a geographical area from Morocco in the West to China in the East, and from the Balkans in the North to Sudan in the South. Historical photographs from the mid 19th century to the mid 20th century will be shown alongside a selection of contemporary images from amateur photographers on Instagram.
Organised by Asia House and The Barakat Trust, and curated by Tarik Alireza and Richard Wilding, Departures will highlight the rich heritage of this region, exploring its ancient urban centres such as Cairo, Istanbul and Damascus, its traditions of travel, trade and artisanship, and its varied styles of costume and architecture. The exhibition is both a celebration of this historical diversity, and a reminder of what has been lost or weakened by cultural destruction, social change and political upheaval.
The title Departures defines the exhibition as a journey of discovery beyond the narrow stereotypes of the region as sectarian, war torn and culturally bereft. It also reflects the eager, observing eyes of travellers who have questioned, courted, and recorded the Islamic world from the earliest days of photography.
Free admission. Opening hours: 10:00–18:00, Monday–Sunday (closes 19–22 April)