‘overlaid images from the book Stranger’ by Olivia Arthur


an evening with Olivia Arthur

17th February 2015

7pm (Open doors 6.30pm)



Hillgrove Street, Stokes Croft,

Bristol BS2 8JT


2016 is already here and IC Visual Lab continues its regular programme of talks and events inviting photographers an other professionals to discuss their creative process with our audience.

We want to kick off the year with the fantastic Olivia Arthur. Olivia will discuss her latest publication STRANGER (published by Fishbar) but also other bodies of work such us Jeddah Diaryor as well as her work behind Fishbar, a publisher and space for photography in East London founded by Philipp Ebeling and herself.


On 8th April 1961 the MV Dara, a ship carrying passengers between India, Pakistan and the Gulf, sank just off the port of Dubai. An estimated 238 people lost their lives.

Some bodies were never found and relatives of the missing continue to this day to search for their loved ones.

Stranger, a new project by photographer Olivia Arthur, imagines a survivor returning to Dubai fifty years later, and what they would see. Through photographs and small anecdotes, the viewer is taken on a journey through a city that is both awe-inspiring and alienating. A city which has grown at breath-taking pace from a population of 90,0000 in the 1960s to over 2 million in the current day, and continues to draw people from all over the world with its promise of riches.

The backbone of the project is the story of the shipwreck, transporting the viewer back and forth in history and acting as a reminder of the fragility and skin-deep nature of Dubai.

Reflecting this fragility and suggesting the feelings of loneliness and disorientation often experienced by residents of Dubai, the book is printed on transparent paper. The result is that the layered images fade in and out of view, interspersed with quotes, memories, and images of the shipwreck itself.

Olivia is a London-based photographer who has worked for many years on the East-West cultural divide. Her first book Jeddah Diary was about the lives of young women in Saudi Arabia. Her second book, Stranger is a journey into Dubai seen through the eyes of the survivor of a shipwreck. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been included in institutional collections in the UK, USA, Germany and Switzerland. She is co-founder of Fishbar a publisher and space for photography in London.