When I die I will take nothing, those who owe me I will charge in hell
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
“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
by Jørn ‘Necrobutcher’ Stubberud
Norwegian Black Metal is one of the most distinct and controversial subcultures in the music world, its popularity spanning globally from China to Mexico. The book is not only a documentation of a band – it is also a story about Norway, and a unique Norwegian subculture where a deep fascination for authentic Nordic culture and nature is deeply immersed.
“We decided to rent a post office box. This meant we were serious. We knew we required a rubber stamp with our name and address and carefully studied typefaces until we found the right one.
The old Langhus, Norway station was remodelled into a post office. It was one kilometer from home in Vevelstad and four hundred meters from our rehearsal space at the time. They sold train tickets and offered post office boxes and a mailing department in a separate room. We thought that was cool and rented no. 75. The back cover of Deathcrush LP was stamped: ‘Mayhem, Box 75, 1405 Langhus.’ Pure Fucking Armageddon LP was also stamped. After the first real article about us was published in Slayer magazine the editor wrote us: ‘Dear Mayhem, Expect mail!,’ and letters flooded in from all over the world.
We’d tagged that station with ‘Mayhem’ by the tracks so everyone knew they were entering Mayhem country! The locals painted over it and we tagged it again. They just left it after that.”
– Jørn ‘Necrobutcher’ Stubberud
Buy the book from tenderbooks.co.uk
By Elias Petropoulos
Kaliarnta is a glossary of the idiom used between homosexuals and transvestites during the 60’s in Greece, which is thought to be the first gay slang dictionary written in any language.
“I love punks, thugs, prostitutes, rebetes and queers because they are fighting against all kinds of power and I love them because they can survive against the police, against the law, against the awful ethics of the middle class, against their passionate selves.”
– Excerpt from the introduction of the book
… there (in jail) I met punks, prostitutes, thugs and fags and for the first time I heard the “kaliarnta”, the secret language of the homosexuals. In 1968, after my release from jail, I desided to work on the “kaliarnta”. The first dictionary in the world for the slang of fags.
Watch the film with english subtitles here
Elias Petropoulos, who died in 2003, was the first Greek folklore researcher, author, and historian to document underground cultures and figures shunned by official history. A restless, inquisitive spirit, he was the enemy of academicism and the establishment.
Kalliopi Legaki’s Elias Petropoulos: An Underground World meets the author at his study in Paris, where he spent his last thirty years in self-exile. Taking the shape of a final interview, it was filmed only months before Petropoulos died of cancer. By then, he was disillusioned with Greece’s politics, tired of the prosecutions and prison terms. An active member of the Greek resistance to Nazi occupation and later an outspoken critic of repression and censorship, he had fled the junta for Paris in 1974.
Petropoulos takes us into unfamiliar realms of tradition and “Greekness” and acquaints us with all the persecuted and despised characters that fill his books. Rembetika songs, musicians, bums, spivs, prostitutes, homosexuals, convicts—all those he described as an “underground world”—meet before the camera as they once met in his writing.
Eminent artists and intellectuals—“the world above ground”—who had met and befriended him give their own account of the man. They admire his unique ability to converse with these different, hidden worlds.
The camera reveals a man who never lost the passion for his work, gleaning information for his books and subverting established views and values. Until the end, Elias Petropoulos was an unrepentant, anarchic idealist and one of the last romantics of our times.
Kalliopi Legaki, director and Maria Gentekou, producer of Elias Petroupoulos: An Underground World
Text from documenta14.de
Image from ERT
Video from www.cultureunplugged.com