Material: Photographic print on Japanese Kozo Paper
This submission contains selected images from my project “Osharij” based on the coastal area of Ras Osharij in Kuwait. The... Read More
This submission contains selected images from my project “Osharij” based on the coastal area of Ras Osharij in Kuwait.
The project is a visual documentation spanning 5 years of the Doha and Sulaibikhat coastal area in Kuwait and the interwoven narratives of industry and toxicity that play out in this neglected geography.
I grew up spending most of my childhood and adolescence in the reserve, exploring nature and taking long walks with my family in the abandoned reserve.
While researching and documenting this area, I came to understand that the area had a dark and rarely spoken about history: it was the site the sight of Uranium contamination in 1991 due to an accidental fire that caught in the adjacent Camp Doha, Military base. This fire was labeled that Doha Dash or Doha Disaster which was one of the US Army’s worst self inflicted catastrophes in history. The area was cleaned up and the top soil was replaced in 2001.
These images of Doha and Sulaibikhat coastal areas of Kuwait oscillate between the dream-like, wanton vignettes of the space and the concretized corporeality of human intervention.
There is a permeability of boundaries between concrete, wire, mudflats, and the silhouettes of shadow-forms and hazy lens shots of human skin. These visuals embody a ‘third space’ where the natural, sentient, and industrial all mesh in a cesspool mirrored by the sewage outpours of human waste and the micro bacteria that populate the mudflats, which all ebb and flow in intertidal zones. What remains here is a culmination of fragmented ideas on life and how it settles, self-destructs, and adapts.
The body of work questions the complexities of interwoven narratives and histories—whether those histories are of an individual’s experience of a landscape or of a landscape’s moderate shifts overtime that are largely indifferent to said individual’s memories of a place.
The area has a scarcely documented past that is visually documented by the photographer now erased by the closure of the national reserve, Entertainment City (theme park), and the sewage outpours and industrial power plants–the communities that have lived in this area were thus moved to governmental housing with very little left from that time. The project also examines layers of ecological disasters in the area such as depleted Uranium disaster zones and topographic marking from the American military base (Camp Doha) and the Gulf War. After this erasure, and over the span of five years, these images of the Doha and Sulaibikhat coastal areas of Kuwait bend the photographer’s understanding of memory, belonging, and the past. This makes this project a personal, pseudo- documentary perception of a narrative, not the narrative of gathered information—whether visual or oral or textual.
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