Martin Adolfsson

Suburbia Gone Wild


Photographer Martin Adolfsson’s photo project Suburbia gone Wild offers a unique look in to one of the greatest structural changes of the 21st-century, the rise of the upper middle class in the developing world. For the past 4 years Adolfsson have explored the search for identity among the new upper middle class in shiny newly developed suburbs surrounding the new economic centers of the world.

By focusing on the model homes and the suburban landscape, Adolfsson’s approach is best described as positively amusing and awkwardly eerie as he documents a curious phenomenon that looks more and more like the constructed world of the Truman Show.

Adolfsson’s documentation of the global suburban sprawl includes the suburbs of Bangkok, Shanghai, Bangalore, Cairo, Moscow and Johannesburg. Next and final stop on his journey will be Sao Paulo and Mexico City in spring 2011.

Suburbia Gone Wild has received several grants and is nominated for the prestigious photo award Prix Pictet 2010.


Within the past two decades we’ve seen a huge shift in the balance of economic power. Countries that didn’t have a middle class 20 years ago have seen a rapid transformation from an agricultural economy to an industrial based economy so much so that a sizable percentage of the population now belongs to the middle class. How does that affect the social groups who have been able to benefit the most from the economic boom? How does that influence one’s identity when the change is so rapid?

I want to explore that search for identity that now takes place in suburbs surrounding Shanghai, Bangkok, Bangalore, Cairo, Moscow, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo and Mexico City. By omitting geographical and national traces I seek to create a strong visual narrative between the suburbs. The similarities interest me more then the national and cultural differences. My intentions are to create a visual narrative that takes the viewer in front of the scenes of a new global movement.
About the photographer

Martin Adolfsson is a Swedish photographer based in NYC since 2007, he shoots portraits, travel and architectural work for magazines such as Monocle, New York Magazine, Der Spiegel, Fortune, BMW Magazine as well as advertising for Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Porter Airlines.