Haddama - Shabiya 12
Haddama ( ھدم ), to demolish, is what is written on the walls of the houses of Shabiya 12, a neighborhood near the shining buildings of Abu Dhabi in the industrial district of Mussafah and
home to migrant building workers from the Indian subcontinent who came attracted by the work opportunities caused by the rapid expansion of the city. Here wealth and poverty brush without
intersecting, at just half an hour drive from the Emirates Palace, the 7 stars gold cladded palacehotel.
Shabiya is the unwilling victim of the idea of a modern city: glittering, optimistic, defiant.
But if the area is deemed to a better future, the future of the people who lived there is far more uncertain.
It is a disturbing feeling, while seeing kids playing and families congregating under the haddama sign marking the fate of their home, wondering what their destiny will be. And it is equally disturbing to know that the dilapidated homes you pass by, with the inevitable curtain before the front door protecting the occupants’ intimacy, will soon be no more and that only the memories of the inhabitants will keep them alive.
Walking the street of Shabiya I felt I was visiting two places at the
same time: the physical one and the one that will be remembered. This work would like to be a testimony to these people that anonymously built the city that eventually evicted them. The photos have been taken between March 2013 and April 2015.