Protesters at Guggenheim NY. What is happening in Abu Dhabi?
metalocus, INÉS LALUETA.
Saturday's protest at the Guggenheim was performed by Global Ultra Luxury Faction, an offshoot of Gulf Labor – a coalition of international artists and activists who have been working since 2011 to bring attention to the conditions that the workers on Saadiyat Island withstand.
The fake dollar bills used in the protest asked museum attendees to consider the "sustainable cultural value" of the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi.
Daniel Stolle. The New York Times. High Culture and Hard Labor.
Across a narrow sea channel from Abu Dhabi’s sleek towers, construction on Saadiyat Island is proceeding at a pace that’s extreme even by the standards of this Persian Gulf boomtown.
Planned as the mother of all luxury property developments, Saadiyat’s extraordinary offer to the buyers of its opulent villas is that they will be able to stroll to the Guggenheim Museum, the Louvre and a new national museum partnered with the British Museum.
Aljazeera America. March 31, 2014. "Guggenheim protesters 'make it rain' to highlight poor labor practices".
Saadiyat Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi, has seen $27 billion in investments pour in as the island hopes to become a new beacon of culture in the region.
But the developers behind the island have received international attention for the poor conditions in which migrant laborers work and live. Reports have found that in some cases, the control employers hold over the island's workers, such as withholding their passports to prevent them from returning to their home countries, amounts to forced labor.