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The Gulf : high culture, hard labor

Author: Andrew Ross; Gulf Labor Coalition,
Publisher: New York : OR Books, 2015. ©2015
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"On Saadiyat Island, just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, branches of iconic cultural institutions, including the Louvre, the Guggenheim, the British Museum and New York University, are taking shape to the designs of starchitects such as Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, and Norman Foster. In this way, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seeks to burnish its reputation as a sophisticated destination for wealthy visitors  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Andrew Ross; Gulf Labor Coalition,
ISBN: 9781682190043 1682190048
OCLC Number: 925466181
Description: 358 pages : illustrations, facsimiles ; 19 cm
Contents: Foreword / Sarah Leah Whitson --
Leveraging the brand: A history of Gulf Labor / Andrew Ross --
Gulf dreams for justice: Migrant workers and new political futures / Paula Chakravartty and Nitasha Dhillon --
Art out of joint: Artists' activism before and after the cultural turn / Gregory Sholette --
The emergent wave of artworld activism / Guy Mannes-Abbott --
Who builds your architecture? An advocacy project / Mabel Wilson, Jordan Carver and Kadambari Baxi --
Why Gulf Labor? Statements of intent / Walid Raad, Naeem Mohaiemen, Hans Haacke, Ayreen Anastas, Rene Gabri and Doris Bittar --
On direct action: An address to cultural worker / Global Ultra Luxury Faction --
G.U.L.F. --
Six occupations of a museum (and an alternative plan) / Global Ultra Luxury Faction --
G.U.L.F. --
Observations and recommendations after visiting Saadiyar Island an related sites (March 14-21 2012) / Gulf Labor --
'52 weeks' and engaging and disengaging / Mariam Ghani and Haig Aivazian --
Dossier of '52 weeks' projects (October 2013-October 2014) --
"For security resaons": A Gulf Labor report (July 2015) --
'Tea Break' (Selections) / Paual Chakravarratty, Nitasha Dhillon and Amin Husain.
Responsibility: edited by Andrew Ross (for Gulf Labor).

Abstract:

"On Saadiyat Island, just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, branches of iconic cultural institutions, including the Louvre, the Guggenheim, the British Museum and New York University, are taking shape to the designs of starchitects such as Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, and Norman Foster. In this way, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seeks to burnish its reputation as a sophisticated destination for wealthy visitors and residents. Beneath the glossy veneer of the Saadiyat real estate plan, however, lies a tawdry reality. Those laboring on the construction sites are migrant workers who arrive from poor countries heavily indebted as a result of recruitment and transit fees. Once in the UAE the sponsoring employer takes their passports, houses them in sub-standard labor camps, pays much less than they were promised, and enforces a punishing work regimen. If they protest publicly, they risk arrest, beatings, and deportation. For five years, the Gulf Labor Coalition, a cosmopolitan group of artists and writers, has been pressuring Saadiyat's Western cultural brands to ensure worker protections. Gulf Labor has coordinated a boycott of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and pioneered innovative direct action that has involved several spectacular museum occupations. As part of a year-long initiative, an array of artists, writers, and activists submitted a work, a text, or an action. Contextualized by essays that trace how Gulf Labor has evolved, their contributions are reproduced in this book. The result is a compelling chronicle of a campaign at the forefront of a new wave of world-wide cultural activism."--Blurb.

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