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2024 Annual Conference

St. Louis

March 21-23, 2024

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LIKE-WhatsApp and Migrant Workers in the Middle East

Ryan Debolski

Saturday, March 18 - 1:00PM to 1:45PM
Tower C

Along the beaches of Muscat, Oman, migrant workers gather together to combat the boredom of routine work, social isolation, and inhospitable temperatures. LIKE examines my time in the country, unexpectedly forming close bonds with many of them. Beyond the beach, our friendship consisted of exchanges of texts, images, memes, and earnest dialogue through the use of WhatsApp. This project contains transcripts of our digital conversations alongside photographs depicting scenes of work and leisure. The interplay between text and intimate portraits drives a narrative framework that integrates color and monochromatic landscape imagery to portray the modernization of Oman.

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Ryan Debolski
Ryan Debolski

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