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”My photography tells the stories of landscapes and of the people who inhabit them – how they came to be there and where they are going. The Hands That Built This City is a photographic story looking at the people who make up the large and ever growing workforce of the UAE, the people who have built and are building the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. These people come from different places including India, Pakistan, Eritrea and the Philippines. I am most interested in where the workers currently inhabit, far away from the city they are building, in the dusty streets of the labour camps – now their ‘home’. Here there are strictly only male communities who live together in basic accommodation supplied by the companies they work for.

I was drawn to explore this place because it is a world away from conventional image of Dubai; these people are building the ‘City’ they will never belong to. Despite a difficult existence of hard work and little money, I found communities of people brought together and connected by common experience, they share the same plight of living a daily life without their families with only the bond of friendships for comfort.” – Polly Tootal

photographs by Polly TOOTAL

From 10/10/2019 to 15/12/2019
Maison Blanche
150 bd Paul Claudel

Opening hours : Monday to friday from 10 AM to 6 PM
Phone : 06 12 34 00 85