Images and captions by Greg Girard from his book City of Darkness
Kowloon Walled City, 1987
Kwong Ming Street, Kowloon Walled City, 1989
Mail Delivery, Kowloon Walled City, 1989
BBQ Meat Factory, 1990
Heroin User, Walled City Rooftop, 1987
Metal grate protects temple from garbage, thrown from upper floors, 1989
The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong was once the most densely populated place on earth, a teeming hive of interlinking high-rises that few dared to enter but 33,000 people called home. Demolished two decades ago, the virtually lawless labyrinth is now a park.
Paul Tang Kam -cheung was a teenager when he joined the Hong Fat Shan triad gang – later known as the 14K – in the 1950s. The gang’s activities included narcotic trafficking, illegal gambling, and operating strip clubs and brothels. Mr. Tang became a heroin addict and did jail time for robbery and drugs. He moved out of the Walled City after converting to Christianity and becoming a pastor.
Watch the interactive presentation of the city from the WSJ.
A project by Sebastian Liste
This project is a testimony of a place that no longer exists.
In 2003, dozens of families occupied the “Galpao da Araujo Barreto”, an abandoned chocolate factory in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Prior to establishing themselves in this place, these families lived throughout the dangerous streets of the city, but tired of living with so much violence and despair they came together to seize this deserted factory, which lay in ruins, and they transformed it into a home for themselves.
Since 2009, I have been documenting the community of Barreto. From my studies in sociology, I understood that this was a unique community. This vast subculture within the greater city became one extended family. They created a microcosm in which the problems of drugs, prostitution and violence could be tackled with the support of the community.
Read more at noorimages.com
More about Sebastian Liste
Little Island is a short documentary about the story of a man who chose to abandon all other life and for almost 40 years live on a small greek island in the south of Crete. Through the years, he became one with the environment and managed to survive despite the many difficulties. When his stay on the island is disturbed by the tenacity of the forestry commission he is still not willing to leave the island. A person’s destiny always lies in his worst fears. And unlike all our worst fears a strong will hidden behind a life makes it always a worthwhile story to tell.
– By Angelos Psomopoulos
“It’s not how a photographer looks at the world that is important. It’s their intimate relationship with it”
– Antoine d’Agata
Antoine d’Agata is a French photographer and film director. His work deals with topics that are often considered taboo, such as addiction, sex, personal obsessions, darkness, and prostitution. D’Agata is a full member of Magnum Photos.
Check out his work at www.magnumphotos.com
“Three years in the making, ‘saints’ is a personal journey in the private universe of a group of Afghan children living in Athens. Working very closely with them, photographer Panos Kefalos explores their everyday life, their games and their dreams and documents the interaction and influence of the adult world (with its overtones of war and violence) and the hardships they have to endure, constantly putting their innocence to the test.”
– Panos Kefalos
Check out his work at www.panoskefalos.com
Buy his book here
Realized during a 5-month period between 2011-2012, this photographic project documents the lives of people living in a Roma community in the suburbs of Thessaloniki.
“In October 2011, in cooperation with the social organization ‘Arsis’, and the help of a psychologist, I started visiting the ‘Tsairia’ Roma community in the Peraia region in the suburbs of Thessaloniki, in order to photograph its people.
I was instantly drawn by the unknown world that opened up in front of my eyes and I felt so excited that I immediately lifted my camera to capture what I was witnessing. But how could I start?
In this first approach, it was the kids that help me out. Laughing, yelling and playing, they welcomed me with the pure trust that children usually show to adults. That was the first step and the feeling was great. I soon realized that I had to erase all my prejudices in my head, since I had entered a totally different world, with a totally different perception of life. Once I started talking pictures of the kids, I got to know the parents who also welcomed me into their settlements. I felt touched and in return I gave them some printed photos.
During the 5-month period of visiting the community, I witnessed great contradictions. In a place surrounded by huge amounts of trash, people could be seen taking care of the cleanliness and neatness of their residencies. Many of them suffered by diseases and didn’t have access to essential goods and services such as heating, water or a sewer system, but they were still smiling and laughing. Through my discussions with people from the community, I also realized that the Roma were not welcomed in our society. They were encountered with racism and children were not accepted in the public schools of the area.
In October 2012, people from the community visited an exhibition of the project, and it was wonderful to observe them looking at themselves in the printed pictures. It was a real celebration. Now, following a few years, things have changed. The president of the community passed away, a lot of Roma abandoned their places and those who remained are facing even greater difficulties. In December 2014, due to heavy rain, the whole place flooded.
I named the project ‘Permanent Nomads’. Those people have lived for almost 30 years in the same place, but their soul has nevertheless remained nomadic.”
– Panos Arvanitakis
More about Panos panosarvanitakis.com
First image from thegreekfoundation.com
Eva and Franco Mattes’s “Stolen Pieces” series, objects taken from works by (clockwise from top left): Alberto Burri, Vasily Kandinsky, Jeff Koons, Richard Long, Gilbert & George, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duchamp, and César.
COURTESY THE ARTISTS
Artists have long gotten away with murder, sometimes literally. After Benvenuto Cellini killed his rival, the goldsmith Pompeo de Capitaneis, in 1534, Pope Paul III—a Cellini fan—reportedly pardoned the Florentine artist, declaring that men like him “ought not to be bound by law.” In 1660 the Dutch painter Jacob van Loo stabbed a wine merchant to death during a brawl in Amsterdam, and then fled to Paris. But, as the art historians Rudolf and Margot Wittkower have noted in their vigorously researched 1963 treatise on the behavior of artists, Born Under Saturn, van Loo had no problem being elected to the Royal Academy there just two years later. His reputation as an artist was what mattered.
Artists have not only indulged in criminal behavior and then been forgiven for it, by philosophers and historians, princes and popes, they have also sometimes openly advertised it. “I do not understand laws,” Arthur Rimbaud wrote in 1873, summing up the attitude of the renegade artist. “I have no moral sense. I am a brute.”
Those lines, as well as Pope Paul’s (which Cellini shares in his autobiography), appear in Mike Kelley’s 1988 installation Pay for Your Pleasure, a long hallway lined with painted portraits of dead white men (intellectuals, artists, and the like) paired with choice quotations from them celebrating destruction, violence, and lawbreaking. It is, viewed from one angle, an indictment of the archetype of the artist as a macho man unbound by legal codes.
Rare historical document from Crete of 1935 with scenes from the Lepers colony of Spinalonga.