The Maraya Project documents the collaboration of artists M. Simon Levin, Henry Tsang, and writer Glen Lowry as they track the re-appearance of Vancouver’s downtown waterfront in the Arabian desert twelve time zones away. Maraya, which means mirror or reflection in Arabic, focuses on the urban regeneration megaproject in Vancouver’s False Creek that became an impetus for new thinking about 21st-century urban development and how it subsequently shaped one of Dubai’s first master-planned developments, the Dubai Marina.
The publication includes dozens of full-colour photographs including foldouts, accompanied by poetic texts, descriptions, and lists of project, events, and activities and a foreword by the Maraya team. Central to the book is a long-form essay by Dr. Alice Ming Wai Jim that traces the eight-year interdisciplinary collaboration and posits the Maraya Project as a kind of imaginative worlding research-creation practice that potentially embodies postcolonial urbanism as a critical transnational methodology. Accompanying writings by Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian, and Kevin Hamilton respectively provide insight into the experience of living and working in Dubai at a time of sensational and sensationalized growth, as well as reflecting on the experience of pulling the Sisyphean Cart along the waterfronts while considering the relationship between new media artistic practice and colonial spaces.