Last month Monocle Magazine sent me up to Australia's Northern Territory to cover a story on their burgeoning capital city, Darwin. Darwin has become big news in the last few years as the United States has promised to begin stationing several hundred troops there in an effort to re-establish a naval presence in that part of the world. There's also been some massive investment in natural gas by the Japanese and French to the tune of $39 billion AUD. Monocle wanted to find out how this new interest in Darwin might change the city and what the people and government thought about it. I teamed up with Darwin journalist Eric Tlozek to meet some VIPs there and shoot everything I could with the 2 days that I had. I've included the tearsheets here and just a few of my favorite shots from the trip.
It was over 90°F and 99% humidity when I was there so my lens would fog up every time I took the lens cap off and I was dripping with sweat pretty much the entire time. I was dying to go for a swim but couldn't because the water is filled with deadly box jellyfish. I also had the strange experience of getting thrown out of public spaces and people making me delete pictures because they were afraid they might be in the shots- I guess they're a little spooked up there about strangers walking around and taking pictures.
In my own experience, a lot of the people didn't really like all the new attention that was being brought to Darwin and quite a few didn't like what the new money and gentrification was bringing. One guy told me how much he missed the Darwin that he knew before the streets were paved (which wasn't all that long ago). Conversely, we had many people welcome us into their homes as we took pictures of the unique style of architecture in Darwin designed specifically for the tropical climate called Troppo Architecture. I also met people who had a key role in bringing about Darwin's change including the Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, the head of the Northern Territory's Cattleman's Association and a couple who successfully launched the first lifestyle magazine and gay nightclub in the entire Northern Territory. In their eyes the timing of Darwin's coming changes is just about right.