Praisewell Ayishoshe, 9, sits outside the home he shares with his uncle, Chikumbutso Jamu, and his new wife in an urban township on the edge of Lilongwe. Chikumbutso is a DJ who makes music and video CDs for a living, which he sells at the local market. In the lounge is a sound system and laptop that he uses to make the discs. A compilation of Nigerian and South African hip-hop music is in progress. Praisewell, or Praise for short, has his own bedroom and goes to a local school. Continue reading “Superstar DJ: Praise finds a new home with his uncle”
The sprawling campus of Chancellor College is on the edge of Malawi’s former capital city, Zomba, with the dramatic profile of Zomba Plateau behind it. It is only 120 kms from the dirt tracks, maize fields, and mud-brick villages of student Tiffany’s home in Mangochi, but it feels like a world away. Fashionably dressed students sit in groups chatting on manicured lawns in front of the modern library building and lecture halls. A young man in a Che Guevara t-shirt walks past two women in colourful Muslim head scarfs. Flyers on the noticeboard outside the library advertise everything from music concerts to a study tour of the Ministry of Finance. It could be a university campus anywhere in the world.
Another photo project from my time in Thailand (following Ghost Tower). Bangkok used to be known as the ‘Venice of the East’ with canals – or khlongs – providing the main routes through the city. In the Nineteenth Century, wealthy citizens built houses fronting on to the canals, a few of which like Jim Thompson’s House are still there. Times have changed and many of the canals have since been filled in. A few remain and narrow khlong boats provide a faster alternative to congested streets. The only problem is that the khlongs now weave their way through slum districts with poor sanitation, and the waterways double as rubbish dumps and sewers. The smell was unpleasant, to put it mildly. I used to sometimes take the canal boat on my way home from work but I always had to have a scarf handy in case a boat came the other way and I got splashed with a faceful of fetid water.Continue reading “Physical graffiti: Photos from Bangkok’s khlongs”