Culture jamming is a form of activism that involves subversively altering media or advertising messages to cast a critical spotlight on the activities of governments, corporations or individuals. It can take place in physical spaces or virtual realms: some activists amend billboards, others hijack websites.
Photographer Dean Sewell captured the activities of a small group of culture jammers in Sydney between 2003 and 2007. The group of three to six members, calling themselves ‘The Lonely Station’ after a line from a Midnight Oil song, were perhaps the city’s most audacious culture jammers. They scaled silos, highway billboards and buildings to rework images and draw public attention to social-justice and environmental issues, from the Iraq war to woodchipping and the plight of refugees.
Dean Sewell is co-founder of Oculi photo-agency and one of Australia’s most highly regarded photojournalists. He has won three World Press Photo Awards: for his coverage of East Timor’s transition to independence, Australian bushfires and the Tsunami aftermath in Aceh. Sewell has twice been awarded Australian Press Photographer of the Year.
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