Humans Outside New York XVI

Roadkill/ December 6, 2016/ India/ 0 comments

Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, former actress, illustrious state minister of Tamil Nadu and leader of the AIDMK party passed away today. For her 68th birthday, her sixt-eight most devoted followers had her face tattooed on their arms. The tradition harks back to the turbulent politics in the state in the 1970s. These three gentlemen in the photograph also have tattoos of MGR, Jayalalithaa’s predecessor, applied during a mass ceremony in 1977. India never disappoints. INDIA // July 2016

Animal Farm III

Roadkill/ December 1, 2016/ Cambodia/ 0 comments

Two million foreign visitors visit the thousand year old Angkor temples in Cambodia a year. The nearest town, Siem Reap, once a quaint colonial French backwater, is now a tourist ghetto with more than 700 hotels, a town dedicated to the US dollar where Cambodia’s brutal poverty, corruption and impunity are barely visible to the casual observer – and let’s face it, from the tourists to the US and Chinese governments, to the EU and the UN, observers outdo each other in casualness when it comes to everyone’s quiet support of one of Asia’s best-running kleptocracies. The tourists come to blankly stare at history, ignore the unpalatable present and engage in communal bad taste, purchasing Orientalist crap in countless souvenir shops. Crocodile leather is all the rage. A wallet doesn’t come cheap at around US$200, but for those who have got it all already…. CAMBODIA // AUGUST 2016

Humans Outside New York XIV

Roadkill/ November 29, 2016/ Cambodia/ 0 comments

Spiritually refreshing to see a ghost doing a Gary Oldman impression inside Angkor Wat amidst thousands of selfie stick wielding, golf visor wearing Chinese package tourists, digitally overfed suburban backpackers in $2 elephant pants, Buddhist monks from around the region armed with tablets and pretending to meditate, and American physics teachers looking to use their moral guidance to help underage girls grow up. CAMBODIA // JULY 2014

Humans Outside New York XIII

Roadkill/ November 28, 2016/ Thailand/ 0 comments

I met these black coal kids in a port along the Thai-Burmese border. I asked them for a light, then a picture. They agreed to both, posed and smiled, all except the small one who was afraid. Then they all climbed onto the back of the old blue truck stacked to the sky with bags of coal and they were gone. Except for the small one, who stood, left behind, in a puddle. THAILAND // MARCH 2015

Entartete Kunst

Roadkill/ November 27, 2016/ Nepal/ 0 comments

‘The only things that go through my head are aliens, robots and naked girls who are all waiting to come to life in my work.’ American hobo tattoo artist Chris Powers, who’s lived on the road for twenty-five years, attending the 2015 International Tattoo Convention in Kathmandu. On the tattoo convention’s second day, April 25th, Nepal was hit by a massive earthquake. Some 9000 people lost their lives and part of Kathmandu’s historic center collapsed. Chris Powers and the other convention attendees survived. NEPAL // APRIL 2015

Animal Farm II

Roadkill/ November 26, 2016/ Cambodia/ 0 comments

Most Asians don’t give much of a fuck about animal welfare. Notable exceptions are some ethnic minorities in India. The Hindus love their cows but that’s mostly religion and politics. Vegetarianism is virtually unheard of outside the Indian subcontinent. Animals are eaten or pulverized into medicine. Before they are consumed, they are either caught in the wild or bred, transported and killed as cheaply as possible. One day they will fight back. CAMBODIA // MARCH 2014

Fuck Everything IV

Roadkill/ November 24, 2016/ Thailand/ 0 comments

This fucking city Is run by pigs They take the rights Away from all the kids Understand We’re fighting a war We can’t win They hate us We hate them We can’t win, no way! Black Flag – ‘Police Story’ THAILAND // OCTOBER 2016

Animal Farm

Roadkill/ November 22, 2016/ Morocco/ 0 comments

Horsing around on the election campaign trail on the edge of the Sahara. Vote for the horse! MOROCCO // OCTOBER 2016

Making America Great Again IV

Roadkill/ November 20, 2016/ Germany, USA/ 0 comments

Just like Rome We fell asleep when we got spoiled Ignore human rights in the rest of the world Ya might just lose your own As the noose of narco-militarism Tightens around your necks We worry about burning flags And pee in jars at work To keep our jobs But if someone came for you one night And dragged you away Do you really think your neighbors Would even care? FULL METAL JACK-OFF – Jello Biafra and D.O.A. GERMANY // OCTOBER 2016

Punk Never Die

Roadkill/ November 19, 2016/ Burma/ 0 comments

East is West and West is East. Plastic palm trees and barbers of today’s future in Mawlamyne. BURMA // NOVEMBER 2015

Humans Outside New York IV

Roadkill/ November 2, 2016/ India/ 0 comments

God loves the poor. This Desia Kondh woman is sitting on the floor of a catholic church made of mud in the back of beyond of Odisha, clapping along to the psalms, waiting for Jesus to free her from large scale mining businesses taking her land, proselytizing missionaries taking her beliefs, the Hindu majority dictating their fashion and a hostile government taking her identity. The Desia Kondh women believe that face tattoos serve as identity markers in the afterlife. This woman’s younger sisters have been talked out of the tradition by god men and the authorities. They’ve been told that they won’t need their markers once they have reached the footstool of the Almighty, that a headscarf will make them respectable, and that they won’t get a job in the market economy with chess boards on their cheeks. INDIA // AUGUST 2016

Humans Outside New York III

Roadkill/ October 30, 2016/ France/ 0 comments

A European success story. A ‘Légion étrangère’, a former soldier of the Foreign legion, who fought in the Balkans, is back home in Strasbourg and lives on the streets. Damaged and without government support, his life has been a classy affair since he risked his life for kin and country. And his handmade tattoos tell his story – a simple biro served as machine, the ink was made from the burnt rubber from the sole of a shoe.Some time ago he used a bottle of sky (French slang for whisky) and a lit cigar to erase the tattoos which reminded him of a war that  turned out to be ugly and a woman no longer there. He has three dots inside a triangle inked between his eyes. It’s a mark of French street culture and means ‘Mort aux vaches’, which translates as ‘Kill the Pigs’. In the daytime, the legionnaire drinks and begs in front of a church which does nothing for his welfare. At night he sleeps rough in the woods. He wants to die in Strasbourg to be buried next to his family. FRANCE // AUGUST 2016

Humans Outside New York II

Roadkill/ October 29, 2016/ Sri Lanka/ 0 comments

Every inch of wall, floor and ceiling space of Helga’s Folly is covered in paintings, frescoes, murals, photographs, mirrors, sculptures, giant candles and antiques and resonates with the spent souls of past bohemian visitors, including Gandhi and Paula Yates, though not at the same time. There’s an evident obsession with  death and whimsy visible in the décor, and the 20th century in all its terrible beauty, as perceived by the old moneyed classes, dominates the off-kilter ambience. A definite highlight is an encounter with proprietress Helga De Silva, who makes an appearance every now and then, dressed to the nines like Count Dracula. If you are looking for conventional accommodation, don’t stay here. SRI LANKA // MAY 2016

The Walls Are Screaming

Roadkill/ October 27, 2016/ France/ 0 comments

“I used to graffiti but it’s become so risky in the small villages that I have moved on to postering. The cops are watching and if they catch us with spray cans, the fines are huge.” FRANCE // SEPTEMBER 2016

Humans Outside New York

Roadkill/ October 24, 2016/ India/ 0 comments

“Yet, that was where it happened, in the palace of the widows on the shores of the Ganges in the oldest living city in the world, the city which was already old when the Buddha was young, Kasi Benares Varanasi, City of Divine Light, home of the Prophetic Book, the horoscope of horoscopes, in which every life, past present future, is already recorded. The goddess Ganga streamed down to earth through Shiva’s hair… Benares, the shrine to Shiva-the-god, was where I was brought by hero-Shiva to face my fate.” Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie (1981) Benares, 7pm. Every evening, locals and visitors gather on the city’s main ghat on the banks of the river Ganges to witness the Ganga Aati prayer ceremony. The air is heavy with thick smoke from clay cups burning ghee and the smell of burning human flesh that drifts down from Manikarnika Ghat, a hundred meters down river. A naga sadhu, a Hindu ascetic, his body and dreadlocks covered in ash taken from the dead, sits on a platform, blessing passers-by, asking for money, smoking a chillum filled with bhang, low quality marijuana that keeps you high through the night. We sit on the stairs and enjoy an esoteric experience. A man wearing a earring in the shape of a cross, his emaciated head crowned by a purple turban, introduces himself, “I burn dead bodies for twenty-five

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You Know You Want One

Roadkill/ October 23, 2016/ Thailand/ 0 comments

The War on Terror. Halloween trash for the less sophisticated party animal, or the hipster who’s dithered in the shop for half an hour debating with himself whether it’s cool enough to go with his beard and tats or not. Made in China, sold in Thailand. Likely to cause a skin rash. THAILAND // OCTOBER 2016