are you still here?

 

Historically an imperial backwater, Dubai has been home of a radical modernisation for the past few decades. The imperial legacy still plays a visible role in a city where almost 90% of the total population is of foreign origins.

There’s no long-term option for non-citizens: loosing the job or reaching the retirement age means leaving the country, irrespective of how long a person has lived-in or if was born there or if has no alternative choice.

In 2014 I started to visually investigate a place I do not belong meanwhile I do belong, where the normalisation of the departure as a persistent eventuality makes the question “are you still here?” a common approach.

A perpetual transience, somehow visible from both urban and social standpoints, affects the construction of relationships with the other and the surrounding space, being at once nobody’s and everybody’s land.