Watch out for me, please
Newsprint paper, print paper, cardboard

The first thing I do when I enter a space is lock eyes with the CCTV camera. Over time, this interaction becomes increasingly charged with anger and frustration — my short nervous glances at the camera turning into continous angry glares directed at whoever is implicating me within this oppressive structure.

Watch out for me, please is an attempt at breaking into the surveillance infrastructure at NYU Abu Dhabi. Initially motivated by aforementioned frustrations, the work slowly evolved to explore alternative, perhaps hidden, dynamics of care that could exist by appropriating the mechanisms of this system. At NYU Abu Dhabi, what’s the difference between being seen by the camera and by the individual sitting behind the screen at the command center?
In the process of my research, a friend told me that she does not always mind the heavy surveillance we are subject to on our campus. Her impression is a result of an interaction she once had with a security officer who saw her crying through the surveillance camera, and then ran to check up on her. 

She made me realize that in the context of my campus and the region we are based in, surveillance dynamics may shift based on the reality of those who are surveilling behind the screen, as opposed to those who are surveilling that remain guarded, faraway, and hidden from our reach.

This project was not a proposal to normalize surveillance, certainly not. Rather, it was an attempt to approach the intersections between the surveillance and labour structures in the UAE and a dynamic in which both the surveiller and the surveilled become precarious in this context. 

The material in the collage included: snippets of the campus map to point out hidden cameras, photocopies of my student ID card without which I would not be able to access any space on campus, screenshots of communications with the university public security department, journal entries, letters to security officers, images of surveillance cameras and signage on campus, and snippets of related readings.