Just don't tell Podhoretz...
November 12, 2007 2:38 PM   Subscribe

HEMA (Hollandse Eenheidsprijzen Maatschapij Amsterdam) is a quintessentially Dutch department store chain, specialised in selling unbranded no-nonsense goods at low prices. It is also known for its whimsical (previously) advertising and strong corporate identity. The art collective Mediamatic decided to have a few multicultural laughs by launching "El Hema", an Arabic/Muslim version of the Dutch classic.

At first, the original HEMA was less than thrilled, but it then decided to join the El-Hema Design Contest jury, which had to choose between such proposals as the Cut-Up Djellabah and the rain-burqa (perfect for the Dutch weather, I think).

In the meantime, the El Hema logo has won the Dutch Design Award 2007 in the "Visual Identity" category.
posted by Skeptic (13 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Looks like they're waiting for Sinter Klaus, with his Moorish comrades who pass out presents to the good kids and then will wallop the bad kids, put them into sacks and carry them back to Spain! Mwah ha ha ha!
posted by parmanparman at 2:45 PM on November 12, 2007

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:01 PM on November 12, 2007

an Arabic/Muslim version

No, just an Arabic version. Arabic does not equal Muslim. From their site:

El HEMA curiously and freely approaches the possibility of an Arabic HEMA. Not explicitly an Islamic HEMA- we are more interested in Arabic-Dutch cultural exchange.
posted by languagehat at 3:29 PM on November 12, 2007

languagehat: I added the "Muslim" mainly because of the "rain-burqa". Burqas are not Arabic...
posted by Skeptic at 3:33 PM on November 12, 2007

SO Mediamatic, so boring.......

really, ow Muslim, ow El Hema, ow ow ow ow !

look at us, we're cool, we use corporate design to incorporate meaningless an unprovoked stigmas about being arab into our completely white, urban, clueless lives, ow, look at us being cool, we're cool, we're international, we're on Metafilter, ow !


posted by Substrata at 3:49 PM on November 12, 2007

This is very Dutch.

posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:50 PM on November 12, 2007

Als we nou eens van die gigantische billboards in Kandahar en Kabul zouden plaatsen, met foto's van vrouwen in regenburka's, fietsend door een Nederlands landschap...

I was actually able to partially read that, which surprised me. Something like "All we need now is gigantic billboards in Kandahar and Kabul with these photos ... with the dutch landscape" I tried to figure out exactly what it meant bu this online dutch translator sucks balls.
posted by delmoi at 3:59 PM on November 12, 2007

"Now, if we were to place a couple of those huge billboards in Kandahar and Kabul, with pictures of women in rain burqas, riding their bicycles through a Dutch vista..."

(superfluous commas [sic])
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:15 PM on November 12, 2007

posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:20 PM on November 12, 2007

And I see it got 2395 diggs, I suppose that qualifies it as a MiFi FPP.
posted by mattoxic at 4:23 PM on November 12, 2007

a few multicultural laughs

Hahahaha you're killing me!
posted by srboisvert at 4:32 PM on November 12, 2007

The regenboerka strikes me as pretty funny since it's a play on the dorky regenponcho that you're meant to wear on your bike.
posted by jouke at 8:04 PM on November 12, 2007

huh, don't understand the raining on this parade.

I loved this exhibit. Thanks for the fun and entertaining post, Skeptic, it's just my cup of cross cultural spiced chai in a Delft mug. The delightfully funny henna pattern gloves were obviously such a perfect melding of Arabic culture and HEMA. My favorite are the mischievously poetic Arabic pickup lines t-shirts. "Kilik zebda ou mnin nebda" meaning " You're all butter, where can I start?"

The Turkey jacket is beautiful and the sport djellabah cool.

Wished all the creations were on one page to make for easier looking.

I would have so enjoyed being part of that Mediamatic creative team. It's such a quirky combo to meld, that kind of practical, no frills Dutch domesticity, spare, perpendicular but hearty in demeanor and the Arabic look, with its traditional Middle Eastern flowing fabrics and arabesques. Then the typical middle class, Dutch conservative of the HEMA aspect, which adds another layer of difficulty.

Silly things come to mind like a Delft hookah, or leather clogs with Arabic embroidery but those wouldn't be HEMA items.

Another mischievous play on the Dutch look, Hitler tea pot and hand grenade in Delft.
posted by nickyskye at 10:01 PM on November 12, 2007

« Older Delmar   |   Crafty Cartography Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments