Field of Heat and Dust is an image of Aisha Al Naqbi, a female honey hunter who lives in Shis, a small town in the northern region of the United Arab Emirates. This image was taken during the making of Nujoom Alghanem’s documentary film Honey, Rain, and Dust (2016), which focuses on her narrative and that of another local beekeeper in relation to their unique activities in domesticating bees and hunting for honey. This bottle of honey was the only amount she could find during the winter season of 2016.
Aisha is also a farmer and an expert in astronomy, particularly the stars and their impact on weather and plants. Her life revolves around finding honey at the top of the mountains surrounding her area and selling it for a living. Her struggle began when the weather started to change, the rain became scarce, and dust enveloped her town almost for the whole year. The Summer seemed endless, as the poetic inscription recounts.
About Nujoom Alghanem
Nujoom Alghanem (b. 1962, Dubai) is an Emirati poet, artist, and film director. She has published eight poetry collections and produced numerous films including seven feature documentaries and short fiction, documentary, and art films. Her films have won over 40 regional and international prizes. In 2019, she was the solo artist of the UAE National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious art events in the globe. She also received the Pride of the UAE Medal through the Mohammed bin Rashid Government Excellence Award. Nujoom co-founded Nahar Productions, a film production company based in Dubai, and is a professional mentor and trainer in art practices, filmmaking and creative writing. She is currently a trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, as well as an advisor to educational and cultural organizations.