Qatar is a country of extremes; of desert landscapes and cities of impossible ivory towers. A nation of wealth created at the expense of the poor. In 2015, Australian photographer Tom Ross traveled to the capital Doha and photographed the things he found there for his series ‘Idol’.
“The photographs were made as an instinctive reaction to a place that seemed to be undergoing rapid cultural and environmental change”, Ross tells IGNANT. “The juxtaposition of a culture that is thousands of years old and the recent development of glass towers shooting up out of the sand, all paid for with oil and gas that’s been beneath their feet forever”. But all is not as it seems; beneath this gleaming facade, the capitalist bounty remains unshared. Ross’ images capture the pretense of the city and its banal details; images of cars, swimming pools, and tourists stand alongside photographs that illustrate the truly monumental scale of the city. “It seems like such an unsustainable rate of growth, and manner in which to live,” Ross continues. “It felt inevitable that the desert would gradually reduce the glass towers back to sand, and nothing would be left.”