The Gulf Labor Movement Essay Example

Paper Type:  Critical thinking
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  577 Words
Date:  2022-10-23

The Gulf Labor Movement has been fundamental and influential in the art world. The gulf labor movement is a form of political activism with its headquarters based in New York, United States. It was founded in the year 2011 to fight for the recognition of the issues surrounding the working conditions and living conditions of the laborers that were responsible for building major buildings on the island. The group pushed for the recognition of the low pay and inadequate housing of the workers. It also focuses on the influx of workers into Abu Dhabi from the neighboring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka who are manipulated by the corrupt laborer's recruiters. The group is also concerned about the growing economic and social class divide within Abu Dhabi. For example, the housing conditions of the Saadiyat Island workers were shown great concern by the group. Saadiyat accommodation village compound could hold more than 20,000 workers who were a concern to the housing conditions that workers living there were subjected to. Congestion and lack of enough clean water and housing facilities were some of the most significant concerns that were raised in the petition presented forth by the Gulf labor movement (Ross, 65).

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Artists are a fundamental part of the society since they reveal whatever is going on in the society through their drawings and paintings. Artists' role in activism art is vital since the message of activism they present with their works has been fundamental in shaping society. In the recent past, activist artists have helped in ending slavery, corruption, challenging dictators all across the world and protecting the environment. Their role is critical in the Gulf labor movement since it highlights the social problems and concerns that the workers in the Saadiyat Accommodation village compound face (Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright, 64).

The nature of the political activism in Saadiyat Island is a strength. The movement focuses on the plight of the workers in the island highlighting whatever is going on in the area. Consequently, the brutality of police in quashing demonstrations and riots for better living conditions have been uncovered. Confiscation of passports, low pay, and poor housing conditions have been uncovered by this movement. The movement has been vital in highlighting these issues facing the workers on Saadiyat Island. By doing so, there have been labor actions taken against the treatment of these workers, strikes have been organized to ensure that the UAE authorities take action towards providing the workers with better conditions for their well-being.


The movement adds more juxtaposition between modern slavery and the right to have a better lifestyle in the art discourse. The artists provide for a deep illustration of what is going on particularly in the Saadiyat Island regarding workers and their treatment while also focusing on the current affairs that surround humanity. The movement has also added more concepts of modern slavery in the art discourse. The Gulf Labor Movement art activism has missed the concept of trying to incorporate more aspects that could enable the art present more ideas to the art world about the larger modern slavery and the plight of workers all across the continent and not only in Europe.

Works Cited

Ross, Andrew. THE GULF. pp. 1-98, http://file:///C:/Users/user/Desktop/Selections%20Gulf%20Labor.pdf.

Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. Practices of Looking. 2nd ed., The Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 62-69, http://file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/Collecting%20Display%20and%20Institutional%20Critique%20Practices%20of%20Looking%20(2).pdf.

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