2006 was a strange yet intoxicating year. A tangle of itinerant journeys.
I had purposely left South Africa (again) and was using Bangkok as my base, holed up in a guest house down the old Banglumpu. From there, with side trips to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Lhasa, London, Phuket and Seoul, 2006 was a definitely a year of hop, skip and jump. I would arrive back each time from a different foray to the same guesthouse. Then go quench my thirst down at the nearby Gecko bar with gallons of chilled Tiger or Carlberg beer. And get shitfaced.
My mood that year was very up and down. Lots of melancholy interspersed with manic phases of joy. I think I was just too immersed in the horrors of the second gulf war. I spent way too much time soaking up the details on YouTube. Apache helicopter gunships mowing down innocent Iraqi's. POV views of US drone strikes. The lynching of Saddam Hussein.
It didn't help much that to while away my time in between the serialized 'Battle for Baghdad', I would walk Bangkok soi's in pursuit of well...errr... soi dogs.
This series is not for the faint at heart. Each time I go through these images, they bring on another bout of melancholy. So pitiful they are. The wretched lives of these poor hounds. Riddled with mange and distemper. Largely left to fend for themselves.
I would meet them eye to eye for a few brief moments. Their pitiful stare out from a lousy existence, would sear into my dulled self, muted down on compassion after years of seeing so much indifference to animal cruelty in Asia. I'd composed the shot, and then walk away feeling like shit. Time and time again thinking, what the fuck am I doing this for? Voyeurism without either a purpose or a mission statement. Shoots like this remind me why I didn't take up shooting misery for a living. In this case I was just shooting misery to make myself more miserable.
I purposely place this series in the Existential section of my website. For what else is this other than a case of 'hanging onto a not so dear life'. Exist. Existence. Exit.