Author(s): Basile Mookherjee
Where once there was desert, cities sprawl for miles; sixteen-lane highways dictate urban rhythm and daily commutes, often taking hours. Abu Dhabi and Dubais car culture and high-consumption environment is the subject of Fully Fueled, French social documentary photographer Basile Mookherjees newest look into a culture rarely explored. In 2012 and 2014, Mookherjee captured young Emiratis nights out on the town. The traditionally garbed young men and women have created an entire subculture in and around their cars and against a Vegas-like urban backdrop. The oversized floppy catalog mimicking the glossy pages of high-end fashion magazines portrays a strange world of over-the-top consumption. Reflecting on the UAEs abrupt petrodollar-driven modernization of essentially nomadic Middle Eastern culture, Mookherjee limns a world somewhere between desert dust and Gotham City, Islam and spending power, tradition and modernity. In addition to his career in fashion photography, Mookherjee explores the cultural contradictions inherent in our fast-changing world.