“Dubai is both fascinating and controversial. It has fans and critics. I don’t like to decide what viewers should think when looking at my work; they should fill in the story according to their own visions and knowledge.” Photographer Nick Hannes has just won a Magnum Award for his series Bread and Circuses, which “showcases Dubai as the ultimate playground of globalisation and capitalism” – but he’s not offering any kind of judgement. Instead, his images are ambiguous, and often witty, glimpses of a lifestyle that can seem alien to many.
“The rapid transformation of Dubai from a dusty fishing town in the ‘60s to the ultramodern metropolis of today fascinates both supporters and critics,” Hannes writes in the project description; many of his photos almost force a double take, poking at the surface to show a different angle.