“Why leave Petra when the world comes to me?” Raed asks, making more of a statement than seeking answers. A closed-off city hidden deep within the canyons, Petra was once a place that enjoyed great privacy. With massive waves of tourism changing the city, I explore changes in the social landscape this migration of experience-thirsty visitors has created.
‘It Takes Two’ is a body of work built on the experiences of the young men of Petra. Having an identity so deeply rooted within the landscape of the ancient city and the relationships built with it's visitors, the young men are experiencing an entanglement with love, lust, and change. The casanovas of Petra, mirroring the outside interest in their unusual and ‘exotic’ story are in some ways building on the ‘exoticization’ of their own identity by internalising and performing an expected and often exaggerated role.
The line between what is real and what is performative in this case becomes a little bit harder to find. This long term body of work aims to explore the journey of identity and self discovery with the young men. Looking at how place, time and love can shape and construct identity.