Australian photographer Dave Carswell has spent two years documenting the makeshift and DIY culture of basketball in the Philippines. His photographs have been collated into a monograph titled Dancing in the Shadows and an exhibition, that both launch this week.
The book documents the places and spaces in which basketball thrives, with the photographer guiding the viewer on a journey from urban centres to provincial spaces. “I was initially drawn to the physical structure of the hoop and the pragmatism of the Filipino people in the creation of basketball apparatus,” says Dave.
Dave has captured a national obsession that flourishes in spite of the fact the necessary equipment might not be freely available. Much like in the UK where jumpers act as goalposts for football-mad kids, the photos show a pragmatic and inventive approach to creating hoops with which to play. He shows us unconventional baskets and backboards fabricated from offcuts of wood, emblazoned with unofficial branding and occupying unexpected corners of the landscape.
“The Philippines is being urbanised at an alarming rate with a handful of wealthy families and oligarchs staking claim on public space. Gated communities, mega shopping malls and even park spaces are largely privately owned with restricted access and monitored behavior,” says the photographer. “The local basketball court stands as a staunch counterpoint to the privatisation of the land and remains firmly in the hands of the everyday Filipino, even if it’s very existence can be fleeting and constantly under threat.”
The Dancing in the Shadows exhibition and book launch is at Spare Store, Melbourne on 11 January.
- Catherine Hyland tells the unlikely story of Mongolian sumo wrestlers in her latest project
- Photographer Robin Friend on representing Britain’s "bastard countryside"
- Artist Bradley Kerl on swapping his Texan surroundings for Tuscany
- María Medem’s illustrations showcase an attentiveness to the body’s movement
- The New York Times Magazine's Ben Grandgenett takes us through its design and tech issue
- Poster Tribune offers a second life to one beloved but short-lived design object
- Cornelius de Bill Baboul's latest project is "like Baudelaire in the age of McDonalds"
- Okuyama Taiki became interested in design while running a free bookshop in Tokyo
- “The beauty of abstraction”: Christoph Niemann on his new mural for a Berlin train station
- Could Lego's latest range help reduce stress and anxiety?
- Warriors Studio gives us a run-down of the graphic design trends at this year's GDFS
- Music, experimental typesetting and Buckfast: Left Alone Zine returns