Part sound art exercise, part mix tape, and part travelogue, Stateless takes its name from one interpretation of the Arabic and Persian word bidoun. Used literally, bidoun means “without”; however, bidoun can also used to describe a population that is unrecognized by the country it inhabits and so is therefore stateless. It is estimated that the United Arab Emirates is home to around 100,000 bidoun.
Made using found sounds including field recordings made in the UAE, Berlin, Thailand, Istanbul, and Laos, Stateless is a reflection on itinerancy and political migration. Interrupting the field recordings is a section that seems to consists of scrolling through the radio in the UAE. The sounds of the West come through in the advertisements, voices, news stories, and music, pointing to the changes taking place in the UAE with the influx of development. The juxtaposition of the radio scroll and the more specifically Arabic field recordings illuminates the unrecognized bidoun that inhabit the changing political and cultural landscape of the UAE.