A UAE paper has said that young Emirati schoolgirl learns how her grandmother's generation can teach valuable lessons that are relevant in today's interconnected, technology-driven world.
"Visitors who enter the UAE pavilion at the Milan Expo in May will meet Sarah and her family in films that will address challenges relating to food, energy and water," said The National in an article published yesterday.
The paper added, "When visitors walk up a winding ramp to the first floor of the Palm Theatre, which is enclosed within a golden drum, they will first be introduced to Sarah and her adventures in a 10-minute film, The Family Tree." It aims to take visitors on a journey through time and space as the schoolgirl discovers the wisdom of her grandmother's generation. Through the story of one family, the film aims to remind the audience that people must embrace the lessons of the past in order to create a sustainable future.
An interactive series of films and holographic installations will also encourage visitors to understand the UAE's home-made solutions to food security issues.
On exiting the Palm Theatre, visitors will be engaged in Future Talk, where they will again meet up with Sarah to help her answer questions put to her by her teacher and complete a homework project.
The interactive element aims to break boundaries and reach out to the audience. It ends on an optimistic note after drawing together a story of the UAE's resilience in a harsh desert environment, where cultivable land and water are scarce.
"It is a strong and moving show inspired by the Expo theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life," said Salem Al Ameri, adding "There are additional attractions, with the involvement of Emirati twins Ahmed and Rashid bin Shabib, the brothers launched artistic ventures such as The Shelter and The Pavilion in Dubai and the library and community space The Archive in Safa Park." "We are excited by the preparations under way for a special, cultural exhibition on the date palm tree, titled The Giving Tree, being curated by Cultural Engineering, an interdisciplinary practice founded in the UAE by Rashid and Ahmed bin Shabib and their team," Mr Al Ameri said.
This exhibition also aims to challenge the audience to explore and think up innovative ideas.
Rashid bin Shabib said "The date palm has been so essential to life in the past here in the Emirates. But we think the story is far from over. This exhibition will inspire new initiatives and hopefully a vibrant, new industry." In earlier expos, too, the UAE has won accolades for creativity in films; the National Media Council's film The Turtle, shown at the Yeosu, South Korea fair in 2012, won medals at international film festivals. The film highlighted the nation's turtle rehabilitation programme through the voice of an Emirati boy who resolved to battle the dangers of plastic bags to wildlife after the death of a turtle.