The Jinn of Oman


Pacific Standard | October 29, 2015

On the edge of the Arabian Desert, one remote outpost encounters evil spirits with disturbing frequency.

Sick Beats and Sykes-Picot

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 Foreign Policy | June 5, 2015

This Arabic-language, M.I.A.-inspired Israeli girl band from the Negev desert is looking to become the Arab world’s next pop superstar. History isn’t on its side.

Read the article at Foreign Policy.

Dubai, The World’s Most Science-Fictional City, Is The Perfect Place For A Comic Con

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 Slate / Roads & Kingdoms | May 1, 2015

Dubai’s Comic Con draws 50,000 fans and cult figures like William Shatner and Gillian Anderson. But the real attraction is the futuristic city’s homegrown talent.

Read the article at Slate.
Or check it out at Roads and Kingdoms with a few more of my photos.

The Daredevil Evangelist Who Fell From The Sky

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Narratively | April 15, 2015

A self-taught escape artist from small town Wisconsin delivers death-defying skydives that double as warnings against humanity’s cavalier path toward hell.

Something a little different from my normal beat. Check out the full story at Narratively.

Tailing Arabia’s Last Leopards: Conservation & Corruption in Western Yemen

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By Gaar Adams | Compass Cultura | February 16, 2015

Read the story here.

Come Hear Me Speak & Present My Photo Series At Slidefest #15 in Dubai!

On Wednesday, February 18 at 7 PM, I’ll be presenting my photo series Sport, Ritual & Performance in the Middle East & South Asia with Gulf Photo Plus at Dubai Knowledge Village Auditorium.

I’ll be speaking about my research on the interplay between athletics and performance in the region as well as the birth of this ongoing series from several articles I’ve penned for VICE, Slate, Salon, Roads & Kingdoms, and other outlets.

Some of the photographs include my time documenting the misunderstood sport and training methodology of Mallakhamb in Maharashtra, India; the struggling national gymnastics program in Sana’a, Yemen; and the thriving Pehlwani/Kushti wrestling matches of the South Asian diaspora in Dubai, UAE.

If you’re in Dubai on Wednesday or fancy heading in that direction, I’d love to see you there.  You can click on the invitation below for a full description of the event.

Please enable images to view the full content.

Mallakhamb: ‘History’s Hardest Sport That No One Knows’


One of its foremost coaches and scholars once described India’s Mallakhamb to me as “history’s hardest sport that no one knows.”  In an ongoing multimedia project, I explore the tension between the familiar and unfamiliar in South Asian and Middle Eastern sporting, performance, and ritual.  Mallakhamb is endlessly photogenic, but images and descriptions of its stark apparatus and breathtaking feats often further dislodge unfamiliar witnesses from their points of reference.  In advance of an upcoming Dubai workshop on my efforts to both document the sport and capture the challenges of this very documentation, take a sneak peak at some of my visual work.

By Gaar Adams | Beacon | January 11, 2015beacon

I am nowhere near the first person to document Mallakhamb. I’m also by no means the first non-Indian to do so. This former training methodology for wrestlers that eventually morphed into its own recognized form of competitive sport has existed in present-day India since the 11th century. Today, it’s easily accessible on YouTube and even had a video that went viral a few years ago.  So why was I still drawn to be a part of telling its story?

Read more here.