In India, the ‘Dhobis’ (washers) keep hotels in clean sheets and people brightly robed. Encounters with luminous linen flapping in the hot, humid air can be aesthetically pleasing to the touristic gaze. However, the presence of these washers in Goa’s landscape and their absence in the spaces of leisure their work circulates in raises important questions about the exclusion of migrant workers from certain socio-cultural and political spheres.The project seeks to explore the underlying tension between migrant labour and tourism economy within the framework of our current complex conditions of globalization. The images neither idealise nor dramatise the Dhobis; instead they explore the relationship between the subject and the viewer while depicting what is, ultimately, just another day’s work.
“Annie Sakkab adopts a self-reflexive and relational approach with her subjects. Her work raises questions about forced and privileged modes of movement – the displacement of migrant workers, the artist’s international travel, and the circulation of abject imagery across the globe. Her projects touch on issues of self-representation and the perpetuation of stereotypes of people from developing countries in media discourse” Sevan Injejikian, Curator.
Annie Sakkab is a documentary photographer who lives in Toronto. Born in Jordan, she has worked and resided in London, Rome, Dubai and Amman. Her documentary practice investigates socio-cultural issues and questions of identity, and seeks to raise awareness on experiences of exile, uprooting, and displacement among marginalized groups. An honours graduate in Fine Art and Graphic Design, Sakkab’s photographs have been exhibited in Canada as well as abroad. Her work Non-spaces (1993) is part of the collection of the National Gallery in Amman, Jordan. Her recent series, Projections – Ghosts of Dubai’s Boom (2010), was exhibited in a featured group exhibition in the 2013 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto, Ontario.