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Visual arts

National Museum, Manama
National Museum, Manama

In Bahrain’s visual arts, such as painting and drawing, Western cultural influences are easily discernible. Local artists tend to add local colour or ‘Islamic’ motifs to their work, but the result often comes across as bland and uninspired, probably due to social or artistic conservatism and/or commercial considerations. Even more surprisingly, many local artworks employ old-fashioned Western orientalist stereotypes, such as colourful souks and veiled women bearing water jars. This is a reflection of the present craving for classical orientalist art in the Arab world.

Bahrain’s film industry is small. It most prominent director is Bassam al-Thawadi (al-Hajiz, The Barrier, 1990; Zair, Visitor, 2000; A Bahraini Tale, 2006.

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