Beautiful light installation in Dubai


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/27/beautiful-light-installation-i.html


#2

Just came here to say that promoting a country which allows slavery, criminalization of homosexuality, and state mandated sexual inequality is in poor taste. Until they change their laws, any article promoting happenings in Dubai should be shelved.


#3

Yeah, alternate title should be “Who says the marriage of an aggressively unregulated economy and aggressively conservative social politics can’t create beautiful things!” Viewed through a lens of reality, anything future-y and cool from Dubai looks starkly dystopian.


#4

Seems to me that this article’s promoting a fancy light display, not state-mandated sexual inequality.

Should we also ask to shelve all articles about the United States while our government dismantles protections for GLBT people and also has ‘state-mandated sexual inequality’ in a very real sense?


#5

Are you suggesting what our government is doing with GLBT rights can be compared to the penalty of death for being gay and legalized human slavery? Are you really wanting to make that comparison?
the fact is, this article is promoting a fancy light display in a place where being gay will get you murdered by the state.


#6

Well, no, which is why I didn’t make that comparison. But to be completely clear, Dubai and the UAE absolutely does not punish homosexuality with death. Gay tourists and residents have been deported or punished with jail time, but there isn’t a death penalty in the UAE for being gay.

So, no, this article isn’t promoting a fancy light display in a place where “being gay will get you murdered by the state”.


#7

Federal and Emirate law prohibit homosexuality and cross-dressing with punishment ranging from long prison sentences, deportation, for foreigners, and the death penalty.
Article 354 of the Federal Penal Code states, “Whoever commits rape on a female or sodomy with a male shall be punished by death.”

Then there is that whole pesky slavery thing. But I suppose if you have lots of money and nice light displays, you get a pass on that sort of thing at BB.


#8

That is their punishment for rape (regardless of sexual orientation) not for simply being a homosexual person. If you’re caught ‘being gay’ (kissing your partner, holding hands, etc), the punishment ranges from a fine to prison or deportation for travelers. As a gay guy who was offered a job in Dubai a few years back, I was given a pretty realistic run-down of what I might face living there. Basically they said “hey, it’s a rich city, there’s tons of gay people here, it’s just not talked about. Most people have fake girlfriends. We can help you get a girlfriend to cover, you know.” It was all pretty creepy and I had no interest in dealing with that kind of lifestyle.


#9

I suppose having federal death penalty law on the books is fine since they don’t enforce that law within the city huh? Of course, Article 177 of the Penal Code of Dubai imposes imprisonment of up to 10 years on consensual sodomy.

In 2014, Karen Mke and Kamilla Satto, two transgender women from Brazil, were arrested at a hotel nightclub in Dubai for “imitating women.” The women were not allowed to leave Dubai once their passports were taken, and faced criminal charges.

And then there is the whole slavery problem. Let’s not forget that. But hey, light show.


#10

Please. Discussing the aesthetics of a mall’s light display is not “promoting a country.” It’s no secret that Dubai is an oppressive regime. We’ve also done posts on the aesthetics of North Korean architecture and so on. It’s a real slippery slope when we start to play that game.


#11

Every rose has its thorn.


#12

Where does that slippery slope lead? I mean, what’s the argument? I’d really like to know where you fear not covering a light installation in Dubai without also pointing out the human rights abuses will lead. I can think of one slippery slope argument concerning normalizing places with a history of human rights abuses and how such normalization leads to the kind of acceptance where places like Dubai get a pass if they are pretty enough (amazing what slave labor can build you).

Is it that it’s OK to cover oppressive places in a positive light if there is a pretty video? Is it that it’s OK to positively promote a nation where slavery takes place since there have been articles about other repressive regimes? What position must you take to participate in the normalization of human rights abuses, torture, slavery, et al. and have that become excusable?

These posts about North Korea? Did they mention the brutal regime or the struggles of the residents of NK or did they just show the pretty buildings? I seem to remember the dictatorship angle being a part of those articles yet no mention of human rights abuses on this article. Why is that?

This blog speaks often about resisting the normalization of terrible ideologies and behaviors when it comes to people like Trump but gives Dubai a pass for some reason and even defends the decision to do so.


#13

Take it up with our Supreme Leader Mark:


#14

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