The work of Silvia Conde whirls you into a rich world of imagery that is dreamy and delicate, yet quietly powerful.
“We decided to let ourselves impress by the luxury of a country that has been built within the past few decades.”Captivated by Conde’s visual language, we were delighted when she shared an exclusive edit of her recent unexpected trip through the United Arab Emirates with us. In the following three part series – taken on film – she conveys her impressions: of Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain and the desert of Liwa: “Three months ago I travelled to the United Arab Emirates with my sister. I had never planned to visit that country. But due to family reasons, I had the chance to go. And, to be honest, a part of me was curious too. We decided to fly there and let ourselves impress by the luxury of a country that has been built within the past few decades.
“A part of [Abu Dhabi] felt like an old futuristic landscape of buildings.”Abu Dhabi, as whole city, wasn’t that spectacular. A part of it felt like an old futuristic landscape of buildings that had been sorted out like in an old video game. You couldn’t walk around them, just drive by inside the car. Still, there was something that did impress us: the Sheikh Zayed mosque, an absolutely ostentation display of wealth. Full of details, the construction was incredible.
“You could only hear absolute silence, which was shortly broken by the wind and by the call to prayer.”Lucky us, we didn’t make it to Dubai. We just drove by one evening and had dinner in front of the Burj Khalifa. The city felt more than overwhelming. Instead, we decided to make a day trip to Al-Ain, which means literarily “The Spring”. It is known as the green city and it has one of the largest oases I’ve ever seen. I remember walking inside of it, between the high palms. You could only hear absolute silence, which was shortly broken by the wind and by the call to prayer. Afterwards, we visited the Palace Museum. Built in 1937, it is one of the oldest buildings you can visit there.
On our last day we visited the desert of Liwa. We drove on the sand and dunes. The landscape was breathtaking. There was nothing but sand and more sand. Even the highway was covered by it too. At some point we stopped by and walk. I will never forget the wild camels we encountered. They were beautiful and friendly creatures. There was a black one. It was a daydream, the perfect way to end the trip.”
"I will never forget the wild camels we encountered. They were beautiful and friendly creatures. There was a black one."
All images © Silvia Conde