Molly Crabapple writes, "For My latest piece for Vice, I spoke with the men paid $200/month to build the Louvre and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi."
Ibrahim lives in one of Abu Dhabi’s labor camps, in a low-rise building set among row after row of identical blocks. Like most camps, it is hidden deep in the desert, far from central Abu Dhabi. Forty thousand men can live in a single camp. They are Nepali, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian—and work for a variety of companies. Often, since they don’t speak English, they won’t know what project they’re building
Corporate buses ferry workers to job sites. Even these are no respite from the heat. Despite laws to the contrary, many buses have no air conditioning. Commutes last up to two hours, and the temperatures often reach more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ibrahim showed me a cell-phone video of the windowless dorm he shares with ten men. Outside, he has only a mosque, a hypermarket, and the sun.
On his one day off, Ibrahim told me, he would like to stroll Abu Dhabi’s corniche. But there’s no public transit. He is a virtual prisoner in the workers’ city.
Besides a few cashiers, the camps contain no women—just as the UAE, flush with laborers, is two-thirds male. Men save up for occasional visits to Ethiopian prostitutes. They too are migrants, often former maids who ran away from abusive employers. Because of their dark skin, Ethiopian prostitutes aren’t favored by the country’s Emirati elite and have to charge prices that even laborers can afford.
Slaves of Happiness Island
Enjoy the wonderful new music video from the recording artist Jenny O., co-directed by Jenny O. with Mariana Blanco.
Marketed to engineers and carpenters, Incra’s rulers have tiny stenciled holes for every fraction to make it impossible to mess up length markings. I got one to make puzzle boxes, but it’s now on my office desk as my daily driver and will probably outlive me. The standard 12″ model comes in at $25 and […]
Artist Rachel Sussman discovered the ancient art of kintsugi, repairing cracked vases with gold, and applied it to cracked pavement and flooring for her Sidewalk Kintsukuroi series.
DJI is the world’s leading designer and producer of easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems. If you’re a drone enthusiast, you want a DJI. If you know absolutely nothing about drones and think they’re weird, if you win a DJI you’re going to become a drone enthusiast.Enter this giveaway (for free, yes) and you’ll get a […]
Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]