Omanis Under Water (OUW) is an award-winning, limited-edition, photographic series looking at the silenced, socio-political discourses of Omani society through a simple but complex matter that connects us all – water.
Through the matter of water, it helps shine a light on some of those traditions & faces usually gone unnoticed via the normalisation of societal uniform.
Omanis.. Submerged in water.
Headless, faceless only their bodies and dress tell us a story.
Beauty. Oman offers natural beauty. And in the sea, it seems to be just as
beautiful and peaceful as out here on land..
The oceans motion takes over as traditional dress starts to explore the body. Outlines start to reveal parts dress was always meant to hide..
But the waters a place we cannot exist for long periods of time.. Is the water representative of our environment?
Men in white dresses.. Women forever in black. Nameless labourers. Trafficked humans. Exploited maids. Unaccessible disabilities.
Environmental negligence.. Silenced dialogues.. Accepted.
So far the photographs have focused on dialogue about conformity, gender inequality, labour rights and male dominance with many more topics still to explore.
Mufuddel, which means privileged in Arabic, speaks of the silenced labour issues evident in everyday Omani life.
It depicts a uniformed labourer carrying another semi-balanced Omani man in a dishdasha underwater, on the back of his manual bicycle.
Without forcing context, this subtle but honest approach at documenting localised labour and worker rights allows for much needed dialogue to take place both locally and globally about concepts of disguised and silenced slavery without dictating imagery or viewpoints onto others.
Ultimately, who really is the driving force in building this country & places like it?
Silence is dominant in Oman. Freedom of expression and honesty is not allowed, freedom of identity is unquestionably; restricted.
*Mufuddel was shortlisted for the ‘Royal Academy of the Arts Summer Exhibition, London 2016’.
Her works are generally fueled by the concepts of existing in places we cannot exist for long periods of time, something well represented through the
use of water.