DP Blog
Window to Opportunity 2006-05-17

Unfortunately, what may not be fully clear in this web-size image is what this gentleman is doing, or what his hat says. He is playing a game on his cell phone, and his hat has the three magical letters of modernity: U.S.A. There is an eerie hypocrisy, or at least contradiction with much of what I saw in Dubai. While culturally there is a commitment to modernization, modeled on western principles, there is also a visceral attachment to traditional values. For example, images of contradiction appear all over the streets: an Arab man dressed in Nike clothes, Gucci loafers, driving a Benz, holding a Siemens, and walking beside his wife who is covered from head to toe looking like a crow. The contradiction is this, if you are so thirsty for western objects, why not indoctrinate western values as well? Values of gender equality, democracy, freedom of expression, and justice? It’s simply cruel gender punishment to make women wear black bed sheets in such blazing heat—for the sake of tradition/religion. I tried to present this contradiction through the above image: A man using a small distant window to pick and choose western values. Originally the window was much larger and right above his head; I decided to move it to the other side of the frame, and make it much smaller. The cell in his hand, after all, is his window to the information world.

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