"WORKING HIGH"

CompanyThe MOB
PhotographerDONELL GUMIRAN
PrizeBronze in Deeper Perspective / Deeper Perspective
Entry Description

At about 300 meters above the ground of one of the skyscrapers of Dubai, people would see them in bright orange over-all-suits, swaying, rappelling and abseiling by the building glass-walls. People inside are usually surprised when these men suddenly appear in front of them, hanging outside. Some would even take pictures in amusement of seeing a “Spiderman” cleaning their building’s external glass. Outside, passers-by would look up to them - literally way up the tower, to where these “spidermen” do their jobs. I had a chance to talk to these glass cleaners before taking these pictures. They casually told me how meager they get for the job and they cannot complain. Unashamed, they admitted that getting up on those ropes is not always easy. Much more is the actual hanging in air. Its not everyday that they are able to ignore that certain “fear” screaming from within, but nothing should stop them from getting on that harness - Not the heights, nor the excruciating heat of summer or the numbing breeze of winter. As we talked, I was mentally computing and figured that there is no amount of earning could ever equal the worth of these lives if that harness fails to protect them. I still look up to these men every time I pass by that building. But this time, I look up to them in awe, in admiration and with much respect. I realized that it is not the fear of falling from the heights that concerns them. It is the fear of failing to provide for their families back in their home countries, that keeps them embracing the risk. As high or even higher than the highest tower, my respect goes to these men. You may call them “Spiderman”. I call them “Supermen”!