One of the great things about being a photography student back in the 1980's is that you could get access to places that would be near impossible these days. It's strange how the world is a lot less transparent these days. I took full advantage of this and gained access to several factories. It was part of a project about working lives of people in heavy industries. These seemed to be an area of UK life that was fast disappearing.
Whilst I was a student I went to stay with some friends at the Hulme estate in Manchester. I was interested in recording the live a a young family living there. The estate was being rundown by the council and was in a very poor state of repair
Picket Lines and Demo’s.
During my student days I went along to lots of demonstrations and picket lines. It was the early years for Thatcher and the government put itself on a collision course with the unions and manufacturing.
South America
In September 1990 I was commissioned by Action Aid to travel to South America for a month. We visited Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. It was one of the most memorable trip I've done.
Kurdish Refugee Crisis 1991
At the end of the first Gulf War the Kurds in the north of the country rebelled against the rule of Saddam Hussein. Hussein sent the elite Revolutionary Guards north to brutelly crush the uprising. This forced the Kurds to flee to Iran and Turkey. I decided to try to get into Iran with a colleague to record the events.
On Christmas day 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed. Suddenly the ex Soviet republics started to declare independence from Moscow. I'd studied Soviet politics at college and was very keen to see the changes happening first hand.
Got a commission from the Daily Telegraph to visit Cuba in the spring of 1992. I was there with a journalist to report on the visit
of a flying eye hospital and the general condition of the country. This was just after the collapse of the Soviet Union and along with it nearly 80% of Cuba’s export income. It was the start of what the cuban government called the ’Special Period’ when basic goods were in very short supply.
After my project in Ukraine I decided to continue working in the former USSR. I travelled to Baku in Azerbaijan to start a project on the oil workers of the city.
Whist there I also visited a make-shift refugee camp set up in old railway freight carriages. The refugees were Azeri’s fleeing the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In 1996 I approached the NGO Survival International about producing a couple of photographic documentaries focused on two of the indigenous communities they work with. I wanted to show two diverse communities living u
Part of a serises shoot for for Survival International documenting disparate communities that under threat of extinction. Here I photographed the Innu community in Davis Inlet, Canada. The community had been nomadic until low flying military jets and a oil pipeline disrupted the migration flows of the carabu, which was their main source of food.
Cuba Boxing
I travelled to Cuba to record the May Day celebrations in 1999, the 40th anniversary of the revolution. During my stay I visited the famous Radael Trejo Gym in Havana. Cuba is known for producing some of the best boxers in the world. I befriended one of the coach's, Alberto Gonzales, and spent several days hanging out at the gym captured these images.
The impact of politics and ideologies on communities has continued to be a recurrent theme in my work. When the second intifada began at the end of 2000 I was interested to see how the violence was affecting the daily lives of the people.
Oiled Wrestling in Turkey
Every year in Edirne, Turkey an oiled wrestling tournament called Kirkpinar takes place. It's been held since 1360 and attracts contestents internationally. The contestants wear only leather knee-length trousers. Before each bout, the wrestlers pour olive oil over their entire bodies. The matches take place in an open, grassy field. A contestant wins when he pins his opponent to the ground or lifts him above his head.
Kirkpinar holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-running athletic competition.
Aryan Nation Congress 2000
In 2000 I travelled to Idaho to document the Aryan Nation Congress 2000. The Aryan Nation was a hardcore white
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