My submissions to the 2017 Magnum Photography Awards (series)

Dubai's Real Heroes

I was fortunate to live in Dubai from 2012 to 2015. This was an extraordinary opportunity to study and teach photography. During these 3 years, I had time to discover Dubai and met dozens of low-paid migrant workers, most from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, who came to Dubai to support their families. This series of 10 photos is a tribute to the courage of these anonymous workers.

1 - From my soul to your soul

Migrant construction workers lined up to board a bus which will take them back to their labour camp for the night.


2 - Express recycling

In Dubai Marina, a migrant worker gathers cardboard for recycling.


3 - The juice seller

A man selling fresh juice is staring at me through the window of his shop.


4 - The barber shop

A young man is sleeping at the entrance to a barber shop  for migrant workers.


5 - The master of cooling

In the old part of Dubai, a man lets himself be photographed in front of his air conditioner repair shop.


6 - Tea time in Karama

Carpet sellers enjoying some tea in front of their shop.


7 - Proudness

The posture and the eyes of this worker leave no doubt about his pride. 


8 - The local tailor

Crouching in front of his shop, a man is waiting for customers. This posture is frequent among Asian migrant workers.


9 - Smile of the day

A young man gives me the gift of a broad smile at the end of his working day. Most of the workers I met were warm with me and eager to be photographed.  A worker even ran after me to be photographed.


10 - Whose reality is this?

Working to build an inaccessible world.