Melbourne residents are currently experiencing some of the strictest and longest coronavirus lockdown measures in the world as Victoria continues to work to contain a second wave of COVID-19 infections. Under stage 4 lockdown restrictions, which came into effect on 2 August 2020, people are only allowed to leave home to give or receive care, shopping for food and essential items, daily exercise and work while an overnight curfew from 8pm to 5am is also in place. Originally scheduled to end on September 13, Melbourne’s tough stage four lockdown has been extended for a further two weeks after the Victorian government announced COVID-19 case numbers remained too high for a safe return to a more normal way of life.
An estimated 10,000+ #BlackLivesMatters protestors took the street today in #Melbourne in an effort to bring further attention to the Indigenous deaths in custody, Racial profiling and the murder of George Floyd.
Australia has had 432 Indigenous deaths in police custody since 1991.
Events across Australia have been organised in solidarity with protests in the United States following the killing of an unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota and to rally against aboriginal deaths in custody in Australia.
Since March 2019 I’ve been covering the Corona Virus crisis here in Melbourne Australia. If I look back the moment it felt like the impact of Covid-19 and its entrance into our lives started around the time of the Australian Grand Prix or more specifically the cancellation of it, any event I was covering up until it’s cancellation.
Since then I’ve documented the closure of businesses, empty streets that followed, innovations and people adapting to the new realities. With every new restriction added a new way of life needed to be introduced. Thankfully compared to the rest of the world the human toll and adverse health impact anticipated by Covid 19 never arrived. On the 15th of May, restrictions were eased in Melbourne.
As the the impact of the Corona Virus hits Melbourne and our lives change I’ll continue to document and archive the changes and update this Photo Essay, so stayed tuned.
Im currently in Bangkok covering the ongoing political situation, yesterday was one of the rare days that i didn’t have anything to cover so i used the chance to document a Muay Thai fight.
I wasn’t too keen on shooting the actual fights rather the atmosphere, the touts & the bookies. Spectators, mainly local men pack themselves into this tiny room, it’s akin to a stock exchange with bookies making hand gestures signalling odds, collecting & handing out cash with the ensuing angry punter demanding he got given incorrect odds. Fighters are blessed and a brutal battle in the ring proceeds. As enthralling as the action is inside the ring it’s equally so on the perimeter.
This particular fight took place at the Ch7 tv studio, however don’t think you will be entering a fancy studio cause it isn’t, it’s basically a bare concrete building with some metal stands surrounding the ring. How to get there?
Take the BTS to Mo Chit, walk on the opposite side of queen Sirikit park walk towards Ratchadaphisek Road & turn right at soi Ruam siri mit. It’s about 150meters down the road. It’s not the easiest place to get to but just ask a local for ‘chang 7’ or ‘shadow box’ and they should put you in the right direction
Normally the 2nd week of January sees me getting ready to cover the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam but a few days out from the tournament a change of plans meant I had a totally different assignment in Bangkok. Personally for me it was a welcome change, it had been some time since I last covered something in the field that wasn’t of the sporting variety.
‘Shutdown Bangkok, restart Thailand’ was the motto used by Anti Thai Government protestors from the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). Protesters closed key intersections in Bangkok, as part of an effort to shut down the city and pressure prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban of the PDRC had setup Rally Stages at 20 major intersections to disrupt the work of government officials attempting to ‘Paralyse Bangkok’.
The rallies grew to include thousands of people at some points. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra responded by dissolving the House and declaring a state of Emergency on the 21st of January.
While for the most part protests were peaceful, at times it even had a festival feel to it with markets & entertainment, a state of emergency was declared due to increasing attacks at protest sites.These included grenade attacks and drive-by shootings.
On the 19th of January at the Victory Monument site, 28 people were wounded when two grenades were thrown.
Another grenade attack on a protest march on the 19th of January killed one man and reportedly injured 30.
Yingluck called a snap election for February 2 in an attempt to end the crisis that was prompted by a failed attempt in September to introduce an amnesty bill in parliament that would have allowed her brother Thaksin Shinawatra to return from exile without having to serve a two year jail sentence for corruption.
– Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
A full slideshow of the full photo essay can be viewed on my website by clicking the link below