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“After the American Century”

is the name of a photographic exhibit by Connie Samaras at UC Riverside’s California Museum of Photography. The exhibit contains images of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Samaras relied on drivers who escorted her into the labor camps and construction site near the 2,717-foot-high Burj Khalifa skyscraper. The title of the exhibit refers to the end of America’s role as the default country for future thinking, according to Kristine Thompson, who is the assistant curator of exhibitions at the museum. Developers now look at cities like Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur.

Samaras, who is a feminist writer, photographer, and professor of Studio Arts at UC Irvine, spent the last decade working on projects concerned with global futurism and architectural narratives, and with cities in extreme environments. She obtained a grant that allowed her to travel to Dubai in late 2008 and early 2009, during the start of the economic downturn but during a period of rapid construction in Dubai.

Representations of three images are shown in the article: “Workers Checking Fountain Nozzles at Burj Dubai Lake,” “Electric Towers, Dubai Skyline,” and “Mosque at Worker’s Labor Camp, Jebel Ali.”

The exhibit runs through April 2, 2011.

-Bill at

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