Landscape and Transformation:

Documenting the reconstruction of Doha, Qatar


In 2008, upon my arrival in Qatar,
I was struck by the strangeness of the landscape,
the emptiness of the plazas, the rubble strewn wastelands that lay between one
shopping mall and the next.
I began to explore the places where the construction ends.
The places in-between.
Much of the city looks like a ghost town,
and visitors who venture away from the waterfront are greeted
by vistas of debris and massive billboards
obscuring rubble strewn lots where whole neighborhoods have been razed.
In vacant lots are the ruins of half-completed projects.
I was fascinated by the sense of flux, the way the ruins and the new constructions
underway created a sense of timelessness,
a city at once rising and falling.
Each moment finds the city teetering between the old and the new,
struggling to define itself in the midst of such rapid change,
at once a boomtown and a ghost town.
For this series, I used my camera as a guide
and began a practice of walking meditations on space and place
as a way to engage with the landscape of a city that is usually traversed
by automobile.
I stepped into the no-man’s-lands on the roadsides and in construction zones,
where I was the sole pedestrian in a decidedly un-pedestrian-friendly land.