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Dubai, 2017

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Labourer in Dubai (01) – 61 x 46 cm / charcoal on paper / 2017

 

In the summer of 2016 I worked a job in Dubai, UAE and spent several weeks on a construction site. It was the hottest time of the year with temperatures close to 50 degrees Celsius. We were working long shifts in a building with no airconditioning. The place was crowded with migrant workers from India and Pakistan, from central and south-east Asia, from Africa, from all over. They live and work under conditions that are easily labeled as modern day slavery.

I would observe as much as I could and spoke with the few workers that understood English. The place was hot, chaotic, loud and dirty. The work heavy and the heat unbearable. The only watertaps were outside next to the toilets, where a huge diesel generator blew even hotter air in the small alley between the buildings. Men crouched in the shadows, hiding from the blazing sun and poured water over the blankets they wrapped around their heads. During lunchbreak most of these men laid themselves down on the concrete floor to sleep.

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Labourer Resting (nr. 1, sketch) / 79 x 107 cm / charcoal on paper / 2017

 

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