Thursday, 24 September 2009

Magic Mushrooms

I took these photos of magic mushrooms growing in my Mum's garden a couple of years ago. The mouse was sitting nearby. I don't like mice so my initial reaction was to stomp on it, but I didn't. I don't know what he was doing there nor why he wasn't afraid of me. It's possible he was a drug user and had lost his natural fear of man. If I ever encounter that mouse again, I will teach it to fear man.

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Sunday, 20 September 2009

The Children of Venezuela - Photo Gallery

Venezuela is frequently depicted in the media as being an unstable nation. The controversial government of President Hugo Chavez has divided the people of Venezuela. His choice of controversial allies and inflammatory comments have made him unpopular with the American government.

The children of Venezuela live in uncertain times. Will the Bolivarian revolutionary government unite the nation and help the underclass pull itself free from poverty? Chavez' recent Russian weapons deal and agreement to ship oil to Iran is likely to antagonize America even more.

"The Russian government approved a $2.2 billion loan for weapons," Mr. Chavez said. "And we must thank them."

These photos of children in Venezuela are an insight into a more intimate side of the nation's identity than is usually shown. These children from around the country will bear witness to whatever the future holds for their nation.

All photos by Tom Rowsell. Click images to see full size.

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Saturday, 19 September 2009

Doha - living in the shadow of progress

According to the Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department, Qatar has been classed as Tier 3. Labourers, predominantly from Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Phillipines are sometimes forced into unpaid labour. Those who are paid receive very low wages and work and live in dangerous conditions. As Doha's skyscrapers dominate the desert landscape, those who create them see a different side of Doha.

These pictures are intended to illustrate the duality of Qatar. I have focused on roads and doorways as each is symbolic of a transition from one space to another, mirroring the changing landscape of Doha. Doorways are also an important symbol in many Islamic cultures.

All photos by Tom Rowsell

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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Violent and Obscene

I have been looking forward to this release since I found out about it in June. Male Bonding, Fair Ohs, Graffiti Island and Pens have all contributed to this limited edition 7' out on Italian Beach babes.

A straight up homage to the king of debauchery and all that is disgusting from four of the best British lo-fi punk bands. It speaks volumes that a man who repulsed both mainstream America and his contemporary punk musicians alike with his relentless coprophilia, misogyny, hedonism and violence, is still popular 16 years after his drug induced death.

Fair Ohs open the proceedings with a cover of 'automatic'. Rather than reinterpret the song with their patented brand of tropical punk, they just bang it out like a live cover. Male Bonding do much the same with 'you hate me and I hate you'. Pens, although not always capable of producing quality recorded material, come up with the goods on a loose and drunken cover of 'I don't give a shit' and the short ep is rounded up by a haunting cover of 'drink, fight and fuck' from graffiti island with their instantly recognizable camp, yet spooky sound.

This is what Male Bonding's John Arthur Webb had to say on the subject of the filthy rapist himself.

"It's important that I make it clear that I love GG Allin's music, but not his views and opinions - some of them I do, but certainly not all of them. He fascinates me as a person - how over the years he went from "don't talk to me" to a song like "shove that warrant". He lived 100% through his music, and you can see that and hear it - literally hear it. His voice changed so much. All those cigarettes and bottles of Jim beam. i think he was an intelligent person, but he'd consumed too much of his own shit - quite literally..."