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Mecca Journeys

In partnership with

SMITHSONIAN Brooklyn Museum Guardian

Across hundreds of photographs and films, Desert of Pharan documents the rapid development of Islam’s holiest city, a place in a state of constant transformation. The shifting urban environment of the city is witnessed, as well as the lives lived amid the tumult. The title is taken from the ancient name for Mecca, or the wilderness and mountains surrounding it – the Desert of Pharan, or Wilderness of Pharan, mentioned in the Old Testament.

Project Films

A Prayer for Mecca

Against the backdrop of the annual Hajj, Saudi artist Ahmed Mater reveals unprecedented changes to the holy city of Mecca – from flashy new hotels to the loss of priceless neighbourhoods.

Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys – Brooklyn Museum, NY

Mecca Journeys was Ahmed Mater's first major solo exhibition in New York, presents a compelling portrait of the massive urban redevelopment now under way in the holiest city in the Islamic world, and its effects on residents and the millions of hajj pilgrims who travel there every year.

UN75: The Pilgrimage and the Pandemic

The Pilgrimage & The Pandemic brings together voices from the world of Art and Health to discuss this year's Hajj in the context of COVID-19 and the role of creativity in faith and spirituality during times of societal anxiety.

Artwork Gallery

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Associated Publications

Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys

Published on Dec 1, 2017

Brooklyn Museum, New York Published: December 2017

Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys takes visitors through the holiest city in the Islamic world. It presents a compelling portrait of the massive urban redevelopment now under way and its effects on residents and the millions of hajj pilgrims who travel there every year. Saudi artist Ahmed Mater has documented this unprecedented expansion for nearly a decade

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Edge of Arabia: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia

Published 1 Oct. 2011

EDITED BY STEPHEN STAPLETON & EDWARD BOOTH-CLIBBORN

Edge of Arabia is the first book to explore the extraordinary contemporary arts culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The book centers around the Edge of Arabia project, which has shed new light on a group of pioneering and relatively unknown artists practicing at the center of the Islamic world.

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Symbolic Cities The Work of Ahmed Mater

Participating Artists

MM TMI 010a

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The Main Idea

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