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Art & Migration© Mohamed Somji

Art & Culture
Love | Labour | Leisure

The project Love | Labour | Leisure | investigates the cultural life of migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through the lenses of visual art, film, performance and music. Foreign nationals make up the majority of the population in the countries of the Persian/Arabian Gulf and more than 80% of the population in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. In this online exhibition we will be exploring the cultural implications of these demographics.


Exhibition, artist talks, interventions and reception at Alserkal Avenue

December 13&14, 2021
Register here for the 13th of December and for the 14th of December


Amirah Tajdin © Amirah Tajdin

Amirah Tajdin

Amirah Tajdin is a Kenyan artist and filmmaker. She graduated from Rhodes University with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Photography) in South Africa and Goucher College Maryland (USA).

Vikram Divecha © Courtesy National Pavilion UAE

Vikram Divecha

Beirut-born, Mumbai-bred, Vikram Divecha is an artist based in Dubai. His practice raises questions about time, value and authorship by engaging people across urban and social spheres, and working with available material and space.

Eisa Jocson

Eisa Jocson exposes body politics in the service and entertainment industry as seen through the unique socioeconomic lens of the Philippines. She studies how the body moves and what conditions make it move – be it social mobility or movement out of Philippines through migrant work.

Saba Qizilbash © Saba Qizilbash

Saba Qizilbash

Saba Qizilbash grew up in Abu Dhabi and later moved back to Pakistan. She graduated from the National College of Art (NCA) with a BFA degree in Painting. The same year, she went to Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the idyllic coast of Oregon on an artist residency. 

Riyas Komu © Riyas Komu

Riyas Komu

Riyas Komus is a critically acclaimed multimedia artist and curator based out of Mumbai. His works are inspired mostly by social conflicts, political movements, migration, governmental policies, sport, marginalisation and displacement. 

Augustine Paredes © Augustine Paredes

Augustine Paredes

Augustine Paredes is a Filipino artist and photographer based in Dubai. Augustine’s lyrical, contemporary, and sensuous visual narratives are derived from his many-storied travels, South East Asian consciousness, and queer gaze.

Anahita Razmi © Goethe-Institut

Anahita Razmi

Anahita Razmi studied at Bauhaus-University Weimar, Pratt Institute New York and State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart, prior to exhibiting widely internationally and in numerous institutions like Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany, The National Art Center, Tokyo and within the 55th Venice Biennale.

Mohamed Somji © Mohamed Somji

Mohamed Somji

Mohamed Somji was born in Tanzania in 1976 and moved to Dubai a month later and has lived there since, with a short interlude in the US to pursue a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. He quit his corporate career in 2006 to take up photography professionally. 

Music in Exile © Bana Haffar

Music in Exile

Music is something we have been doing since we were nomadic at the dawn of time. Something to unite people beyond language and status, something we keep on doing at home, away from home, on the road however perilous it may be, in our head and heart, with our body, alone and also to get closer to each other, to find our place and hopefully to belong there.