kada (shop)

kadha (story)

kadakaaran (shopkeeper)

Nethra Ganesan



This project that started off as a critique of the infamous golden latte follows turmeric and the role that it plays in the functioning of the Indian diaspora in Dubai. The city is home to a massive Indian population and yet affords them little control over their lives and respect for their contribution to city's development. In the absence of formalised spaces of congregation, rituals become the means through which the diaspora is created & maintained. Turmeric is a commodity that holds intimate value for the community and plays a crucial role in these ritual ceremonies - a far cry from its use in the golden lattes, supplements and skincare products of the global north. The Gelf Indian Souvenir Shop is a "shop" that is run by Indian migrants for Indian migrants, that infiltrates the city as a Trojan horse, working within the confines of the city's legal and economic framework to support the Indian diasporic community in a realistic and pragmatic way. It provides a safe space for the diaspora to carry out their rituals, supplies them with the necessary ritual kits and allows for diasporic networks to be formed and strengthened through these rituals, other communal activities and public programme events. The shop is also an archive for a diaspora that is still learning how to define its identity in the city in the absence of an assimilated Emirati-Indian option. It is a collaborative, healing & self-reflective space to trace our history, share our stories & collectively shape our future in the city through these networks of solidarity.

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