Kingdom of Sand and Cement
“Kingdom of Sand and Cement” explores the challenge of progress Saudi Arabia is faced with as this country rapidly transitions from a conservative and tribal desert culture to an influential world power.
It is a society in the midst of a profound change; one that in less than a century made the leap from mud buildings to commencing work on the world's tallest skyscraper. The whole country is rapidly transforming from arid landscapes dotted with settlements that seem to simply grow out of the ground, to imposing modern interventions, cutting, filling, and monumentalizing dominance over nature and the land. Saudi Arabia finds itself precariously balancing at a crossroads of old and new, and its changing landscape suggests more is yet to come.
“Kingdom of Sand and Cement” grew out of an interest in documenting traces of this old reticent society at a turning point in its history. By photographically examining the intersection of the built environment with that of the natural environment, the Series brings to light the country's aspirations tensely juxtaposed with its contrasts, presenting an image of a place vastly different from our own, yet a place that is ultimately not so dissimilar to others in its ambition to progress.