Has it really been ...

… ten months since I last updated the blog?!

A few highlights since then:

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My photography project on Brexit was featured in the digital edition of German magazine Der Spiegel.


I’ve been working on the exhibition of my $tow High in Transit project, which will open on Friday 30 August. More info here.

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We moved to New Zealand. :)

A new project on borders

I'm planning a new multi-chapter project on international borders. One of the chapters will explore borders drawn by colonial powers—specifically, German colonialism in Südwestafrika (the region comprising today's Namibia). The so-called Caprivi strip, in particular, is a perfect illustration of how colonial powers divided the global South into spheres of influence, leaving behind borders that are completely at odds with any social or cultural realities "on the ground."


New work: Paraíso

My latest project, Paraíso, challenges the binary stereotype of the "corrupt" South and the "clean" North. The global anti-corruption industry, dominated by governments and organisations from industrialised countries, wants to make us believe that corruption is mainly a problem in the developing world - as illustrated, for example, by one of the most widely used measures of corruption, Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index, which paints the developing world in a dark red.


However, this picture hides the fact that corruption also happens in industrialised counties. Specifically, Paraíso shifts the focus onto London, which has been described as "the heart of global financial corruption" [link].

$tow High in Transit ($HIT)

I've added new work to the website. The $tow High in Transit ($HIT) project explores the tensions of globalisation through the Peruvian guano boom of the 19th century. More info here.

The title comes from the fact that - when transported by ship - guano, like other natural fertilisers, had to be stowed high enough off the lower decks so that it wouldn't be wetted by seawater. Not only would this have increased the weight of the guano, but contamination by seawater could have led to a build-up of methane, which, in turn, could have triggered an explosion.

Volume VI of The Chemist journal (1845) includes an account of this happening to a vessel off the east coast of England. (Click on the image for a larger view.)

By the way, the word "shit" does not come from the acronym for "stow high in transit" - this is a common false etymology. It still makes a fitting acronym for my project, though.

Loupe Magazine

Chincha Islands

For my project on the Peruvian guano boom of the 19th century, I recently visited the Chincha Islands. This group of three islands off the coast near the town of Pisco was the main source of guano during that time period. I posted a couple of videos on Instagram, featuring the key guano birds: the Peruvian booby, the Guanay cormorant, and the Peruvian pelican.

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Video 2

The house that bird shit built

I visited Tyntesfield today for my new project on the Peruvian guano boom of the 19th century. Tyntesfield used to be the countryside home of the Gibbs family who made an absolute fortune from guano. Imagine the house as a 19th-century version of MTV Cribs - billiard room with hunting trophies, private church with 24-hour chaplain, the lot!


Lewes FC

I spent the weekend at Lewes FC - a Sussex club that became member-owned in 2010. The men's team beat Whyteleafe 2-1, the ladies' team drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace.