18 October 2008

Blast from the Past: Dubai construction workers

Once I wanted to make a film about a day in the life of a labourer in Dubai. All around us where we lived on Sheikh Zayed Rd were new construction sites and every morning, lunch time and evening we saw endless groups of blue/green/orange-clad young men either appearing from dusty buses or waiting to board them to go back to wherever they spent their nights. It turned out to be impossibly difficult to make contact, find willing subjects or gain access to the sites and hostels where they live. Most documentaries I saw about Dubai mentioned the poor working and living conditions of imported labour on construction in the UAE, but even the BBC didn't seem to be able to get access to show real live footage.

Now a Guardian reporter seems to have been able to do the impossible, and report on it without condescension or hand-wringing: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/oct/08/middleeast.construction

It makes me feel better that this injustice is finally being made visible.

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