Substations*
United Arab Emirates, 2007-2011

* A collaborative project with Mohamed Somji

Substations is an intimate reflection on the character and experience of community in Dubai and the UAE.
Resembling the first stations that were built several decades ago and started the region's diesel trade, these isolated stations are a distinct contrast to the Middle East’s high-profile petroleum sector. It is an exhibit of vernacular architecture: constructed with scavenged materials, they are maintained with simple amenities and local hospitality.
 
Unlike their urban equivalents - sprawling corporate conglomerates that function as roadside cathedrals of consumer capitalism, complete with fast food restaurants, convenience stores, promotions, prizes, and uniformed staff - these stations are individually owned and frequented by truckers. Makeshift structures of found objects, colourful neons, and strings of festive lights, the diesel stations are some of the last remaining examples of a culture around which the Middle East evolved.

Substation 1
Al Ghail, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, 2007
Substation 2
Masfout, Ajman, UAE, 2008
Substation 3
Masfout, Ajman, UAE, 2008
Substation 4
Masfout, Ajman, UAE, 2010
Substation 1 Mk II
Al Ghail, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, 2011
Substation 5
Al Ghail, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, 2011
     Substation 6
     Masfout, Ajman, UAE, 2011
Substation 7
Masfout, Ajman, UAE, 2008
Substation 8
Masfout, Ajman, UAE, 2008
     Substation 9
     Masfout, Ajman, UAE, 2009
Substations
375
3,444
14
Published:

Substations

Quest to find and document original vernacular roadside diesel stations in the UAE.
375
3,444
14
Published:

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