Nadia Benchallal and Nathalie Peutz: Markazi

February 4 – 27, 2018 at The Project Space, NYU Abu Dhabi

Press Release

The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery is pleased to announce the next show at its auxiliary venue, The Project Space. Opening to the public on February 4, Markazi is a collaboration between award-winning French-Algerian photographer Nadia Benchallal and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at New York University Abu Dhabi Nathalie Peutz.

Markazi’s photographs provide insight into Peutz’s research on forced migration, displacement and immobility, identity and heritage — themes perfectly showcased by Benchallal’s documentary work.

Benchallal’s photographs were taken during several extended visits to Markazi, a UN Refugee Agency camp in Djibouti currently home to around 1500 individuals displaced by conflict from Yemen’s Red Sea coast, Aden, Taiz, and Sanaa.

Markazi will cast light on the conditions of mobility and immobility in Yemen and the Horn of Africa through its focus on households and everyday life in the Markazi camp. The photographs depict camp residents navigating a state of increasingly permanent suspension. Household portraits attest to the diversity and dignity of Markazi’s and Yemen’s population.

In addition to Benchallal’s black-and-white and color photographs, the exhibition will feature the work of nine Markazi residents who collaborated with Benchallal and Peutz over the course of a year. These nine individuals, originating from various regions of Yemen with varying levels of education, were selected to document their everyday encounters and concerns. Each of the participants was given a camera and met repeatedly with Benchallal in individual and group meetings to discuss photographic methods and approaches. The participants selected which images they wished to have exhibited, as Peutz and Benchallal utilize their photographic and ethnographic lenses to amplify the Markazi residents’ perspectives.

Markazi opens to public at 5:30 pm on Sunday, February 4 with a reception in The Project Space.

The Project Space is operated by the staff of the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery and housed within the campus’ Arts Center. It is dedicated to NYU Abu Dhabi’s community projects such as the annual Capstone Festival, semester-end exhibitions of student works, and faculty-curated exhibitions, providing a platform for experimentation and exploration.


Nadia Benchallal and Nathalie Peutz

February 4 – 27, 2018

The Project Space, NYU Abu Dhabi (inside the Arts Center)

Saturday – Thursday, 3 – 10 PM

Details at the website:

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.