In this lushly produced, oversize volume, Bobby Sager’s Diriyah Face to Face captures a fundamental distinction in our understanding of the world: seeing versus feeling. It begs the questions, “How do we get close enough to someone or something to really listen? How do we suspend our biases and beliefs, even if momentarily, to better understand the details of a place, of a community, of even ourselves?”
Having spent the last 20 years photographing people in traumatized communities all over the world, capturing the turmoil and challenges of poverty, conflict, and the human ability to overcome; Bobby Sager has brought his eye for detail and search for common humanity to the city of Diriyah, giving the reader an opportunity to connect with the community that once inhabited this 300-year-old mud city in the middle of Saudi Arabia that became the Capital of the first Saudi State.
In his photography, Sager focuses on capturing the eyes of his subjects in the flux of everyday life. In this book he reveals the eternal stillness of this muddy metropolis, the deep-rooted humanity in this community of mud faces, and the essential reminder of the people who once lived there. Sager asks us to think of these mud faces as our hosts and us as their guests as we explore the streets, palaces, mosques, and schools of this extraordinary place. The silhouettes of the walls are the iconic image of Diriyah; but it is in the details, in the shadows, in the stillness, and especially in the community of mud faces, that we are brought to a deep state of intimacy.
Sager has once again reminded the reader that the biggest value from his interactions begins in the smallest, most human of observations: the ability to see something. As it is through careful, mindful attention that we observe the details to better understand the big picture.
About The Author
Bobby Sager is an American photographer. His photography has given rise to several publications and exhibitions, including: Invisible Sun (Rizzoli, 2019).