2018 - 2020
Oman; Muscat, Muḩāfaz̧at Masqaţ, Oman
In the spring of 2018, Josh Adam Jones journeyed to Oman to unearth and communicate stories about the expatriate communities of its capital city: Muscat. Driven by the desire to challenge his own perspectives and views which had been tainted by Western media, Josh concentrated on the relationships between the local people and expatriates who live harmoniously in the Middle Eastern city.
With over forty-five percent of the population falling into the expatriate category, Muscat has a diverse culture, but with a strong sense of national pride at its heart. The notion of ‘home’ as a recurrent theme quickly became evident, and the word itself contained a multitude of meaning for different people. Regardless of social status, occupation or nationality, there seemed to be an enormity of pride throughout the country’s populace for the place they call home. There was a huge amount of hospitality and generosity shown by the people of Oman, and Josh was fortunate enough to work alongside people within the British Embassy, Oman Tourism College and British School Muscat.
XO is partly a response to Western misconceptions of the East, and misrepresentations of Oriental values and beliefs. The country is peaceful and prosperous; a sanctuary from the conflicts that affect that part of the world. Having since returned to continue the project, Josh invites people to contribute hand written accounts of their idea of ‘home’ and their experiences of Oman.
“If our picture of a place is built upon whatever makes the news, our judgements will be narrowly slanted toward the extremes. The media trades in the sensational, and it can be hard to remedy that bias. What Josh offers instead is the day-to-day complexity of a country, resisting the urge toward drama. The resulting project is a series of photographs so deliberately optimistic that they verge on fiction, the offering of a photographer trying to remedy his own misconceptions. By combining his own images with words from citizens, Josh points to the un-newsworthy and yet salient truth that for many of its 4.6 million diverse inhabitants, Oman is a stable home.” – Harry Flook, 2019.