Abandoned places

There is a new genre in travel writing and photography. Rather than recording buildings from another age which have stood the test of time, now there is a trend to capturing those that have NOT!

Jonglez Publishing's range of photo books make fascinating reading and interesting gifts.

Discover the former hunting lodge of the Duchess of Parma, a spectacular abandoned Moorish castle, the remains of film studios with the scenery from a Pinocchio film, a disused psychiatric asylum, a famous but now-forgotten discotheque in a mock medieval castle, the ruins of a renowned spa hotel ravaged by fire …

Robin Brinaert has been travelling around Italy for over eight years in search of these abandoned, forbidden, forgotten places. He highlights the sometimes dramatic fate of our heritage – a serious reflection on safeguarding.

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Japan is often thought of as a place where the modern world and ancient traditions meet in surprising and fascinating ways. The rapid pace of technological, social and cultural change throughout the 20th century propelled the country forward but left countless establishments, industries and entire towns deserted.

Through his photography Jordy Meow explores these forgotten places and sheds light on a lost world that was thriving just a few decades ago.

Abandoned Japan documents famed ruins (haikyo in Japanese) such as Gunkanjima, the island featured in the Bond movie Skyfall, which once had a population of over 5,000 but is now completely abandoned, and the Disneyland-inspired Nara Dreamland theme park. Beyond these well-known sites, Jordy Meow also takes us on a journey through every aspect of a rapidly disappearing past: from schools and hospitals to industrial sites and nightlife, including strip clubs and love hotels.

The ruins captured here range from the quaint and serene to the dark and nightmarish. Some have an atmosphere reminiscent of the animation films of Studio Ghibli while others seem almost dystopian. These places show that people can leave a lasting mark on their environment but, given the chance, nature finds its way back.

~~~

Barren red deserts dotted with post-colonial ghost towns, dilapidated inner city factories, discarded country homesteads and a succession of dormant, soot-filled power stations are just a handful of the desolate, yet visually rich narratives that form part of the abandoned Australian landscape. 

Digging beneath the sun-baked soil, Shane Thoms uncovers the modern ruins scattered over this arid continent and reveals a series of beautifully broken abodes hiding in the crevices of the Great Southern Land. 

Whispering of both long-gone happy family moments and human darkness, of working lives and the everyday pursuits of living, these atmospheric scenes allow us to reconstruct the stories of the past. Prompting conversations about a growing, diverse country with a complicated history, these abandoned places both connect as well as contrast the past and the present and chronicle the hidden remnants of the evolving Australian story.  

Shane Thoms is a photographer and photojournalist who studied at Monash University in Melbourne. He holds a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication majoring in photography, screen and media. 

 

 

 

 

 

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