The Sonapur Photo Series Depicts South Asian Laborers in Dubai

By: Rahul Kalvapalle - Dec 1, 2014
References: berahman & featureshoot
Sonapur is the unofficial name for an area in the outskirts of Dubai, located far from the glittering glass buildings and over-the-top materialism that the Emirati city is famed for. Iranian photographer Farhad Berahman began photographing the area seven years ago when police were surrounding labor camps filled with South Asian workers, who suffer major exploitation in Dubai.

Over the next several years, Berahman returned to the labor camps several times and slowly gained the trust of its inhabitants, who came from as far away as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and China.

Ultimately, Sonapur is a documentation of the long and struggle-filled life led by South Asian laborers in Dubai. These men are crammed into rooms by the dozen and face abuse and exploitation, yet somehow manage to share lighter moments and moments of hope when in the company of their fellow laborers.