“This mountain you stand upon, a million years ago was underwater,” stated Saleh, my Ras Al Khaima guide. It wasn’t difficult envisioning these rugged crumbling peaks submerged under water, home to thousands of sea creatures and a plethora of marine plants.
In my 28 years here in the Emirates, this is my first visit to the Ras Al Khaima mountains. Saleh is going to be my guide for the next two months, introducing me to the sierras of his hometown. I came here to explore and document the landscape and the lives of those who reside within it. This FIND project will combine portraits, landscapes, and still lifes in a series of photos. This body of work will be a study on small village life and the inner landscapes of the mountains’ inhabitants.
Lean fare, austere forms,
Brief delight, few words,
Low down in cool space
One star -
The morning star.
In the pale light of sparseness
Lives the Real Thing.
And we are real.
— Dag Hammarskjold
These mountains are retreats to many. A sparse collection of farms and towns scattered around these massive structures are characterized by perseverance, hope, beauty, solitude and equanimity. The palette and topography set the scene. You could love here.
These million year old formations that were once home to oceanic beings are now occupied by different subjects; some are youthful with a steady patience, others are wrinkle ridden with a hundred stories to tell. This project will be a humble attempt to study and document their mountainous way of being.