Jacob Charles Wilson

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A Photographic Study of Dubai and Its People

for Another Man
Two bodies intertwined, arms grappling at calves and thighs.

The experience of living between cultures is nothing I'm personally familiar with, but in global terms it's not unusual. Ben Soedira is the son of a Dutch-Indonesian father and English mother, but he himself was born and grew up in Dubai - a country that bars citizenship to all but a few, so that Soedira finds himself a stranger in place he calls home. Dubai itself is a unusual city, rising up between the sea and the desert, almost everything from water to workers is imported. Foreign Sands, his first major photographic project, charts the city through the small details that only someone who calls the city home would recognise.

These are things that only become apparent once you realise their absence; it might be a tray of karak tea and the call of the muezzin in the morning, the daily water delivery, the shape of a brick or simply a pile of sand. It could be the almost imperceptible sense of heat radiating from the flat walls or the ever-present dust painting the sky a hazy grey.