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Dubai: Dutch lensman Jeroen Swolfs, 44, has photographed the Streets of The World for seven years.

Now, his work, which highlights the daily life in capital cities of 195 countries, is dubbed as the world’s longest and largest photography exhibition, using large-format prints on illumated all-weather street frames.

A carefully-curated collection of his work is currently on display in Dubai at Al Seef, by the Dubai Creek.

Visitors during the Streets World exhibition at Al Seef By Meraas, Dubai Creek Photo Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Organised by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the exhibition spread across 1.8km-long stretch in Al Seef. 

Ola Allouz, Winner of Streets of The World exhibition by Dutch photographer Jeroen Swolfs at Al Seef By Meraas, Dubai Creek. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Asked why he spent those seven years travelling across 195 capitals, Swolfs said: "Why not?"

The freelance photographer from Amsterdam said he set out on the journey to find the positive side of life in this world.

"For seven years, during the days, I was fine taking photos, getting to meet people. But for 7 years, spending evenings in hotel rooms, I had no idea where to go. It kind of added up after a while."

And wherever he went, he searched for that one street (or sometimes harbour or railway station) that symbolises a whole community.

"And also the war zones kind of stories. It was not as difficult for me as much as it was difficult for people living there. But of course you do things happening that are not really easy to forget," he told Gulf News.

'There are positive things anywhere'

“I photographed the positive things that I saw. There are always positive things anywhere, even in war zones. People are helping each other, persevering...people are resilient. Those were the themes I was looking for, in those conflict zones. In the meantime, you still see the war going on.”

Through his journey, Swolfs said, he found stories of friendship, celebrations, humanity and hope. "I was lucky I think, I prepared as well as I could. I was able to tell the other side of the stories you see in the news media."

He added the journey made him realise that “we are much like each other everywhere.”

Jeroen Swolfs during Streets of The World exhibition opening by Dutch photographer Jeroen Swolfs at Al Seef By Meraas, Dubai Creek

The large photo prints show you how many things we share as humans around the world and leave you with a sense of connection to all those streets and the people that dwell in them.

Why did he choose Dubai to start the world tour? Swolfs' reason: Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, where numerous nationalities work together to create a vibrant city, a bridge between the East and the West.

The "Streets of the World" exhibition

runs until April 5 at Al Seef, near Al Seef Marine Transport Station 1.

Where: Al Seef by Meraas, Dubai Creek (near Al Seef Marine Transport Station 1)

Fee: Free

Open until:  April 5, 2019

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