In the spring of 2018, Josh travelled to Oman to unearth and communicate stories about the expatriate communities of its capital city: Muscat. Driven by the desire to challenge his own perspectives and views which had been tainted by Western media, Josh concentrated on the relationship between local people and outsiders, emphasising the human aspects of the Middle East.

With over forty-five percent of the population falling into the expatriate category, Muscat plays host to a rich, diverse and colourful culture. The notion of ‘home’ as a recurrent theme quickly became evident, and the word itself contained a multitude of meaning for different people. Regardless of social status, occupation or nationality, there seemed to be an enormity of pride throughout the country’s populace for the place they call home.

 

There was a huge amount of hospitality and generosity shown by the people of Oman, and Josh was fortunate enough to work alongside people within The British Embassy, Oman Tourism College and British School Muscat.

This project was partly a response to Western misconceptions of the East, and misrepresentations of Oriental values and beliefs. Having since returned to continue the project, Josh invites people to contribute hand written accounts of their idea of ‘home’ and their experiences of Oman. The country is peaceful and prosperous; a sanctuary from the conflicts that affect that part of the world.

Since beginning XO in 2018, Josh is now working on a collective commission from the British Council and Ffotogallery in Wales. The Place I Call Home looks to expand on the themes and ideas presented in XO, but also hopes to document the experiences of the Omani diaspora living in the U.K.

The focus on diaspora is a particularly significant subject matter at this moment in time and something we should all be thinking about. There is a sense of nostalgia to the series that resonates with the viewer and it successfully raises important questions about one’s history and heritage.
— Catherine Hyland 2019