I started this series on a return visit to Oman, a country I used to call home in my teenage years. On my return, I was reminded by the kindness that framed every encounter. Interactions were marked by a certain tenderness and respect. Months later, I moved to Lebanon and was again instantly struck by reminiscent unfoldings of kindness. And although Lebanon and Oman are vastly different countries with immensely different societal structures and histories, their coastlines seemed to be visually intertwined by themes of compassion and gentleness.
This being said, مياه لطيفة (gentle waters) exists as an ode to the humbling aura of the ocean. In the lights of dawn and dusk, behind backdrops of compassionate horizons, rigid displays of manhood soften. The shores of Lebanon and Oman become a stage, hosting a gentle performance of masculinity.
Xaver Konneker is a photographer with an academic background in cultural studies, who grew up in Japan, the Netherlands and Oman. His photography aims to apply an interdisciplinary lens on anthropological and sociological questions of identity and representation.