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After a childhood scarred by bullying and dark family secrets, Michael Paul Smith found himself working in a series of dead-end jobs and battling depression. Seeking catharsis, an escape, or both, Smith embarked on a photography project that combined the iconography of his mid-20th-century childhood with clever visual trickery. The result, Elgin Park, is a beguiling photography series featuring 1/24th-scale models of quintessential Americana that Smith describes as a ‘dreamlike recreation’ of his past. In Elgin Park, Smith describes how he’s found redemption through the project after bouts with suicidal spells, creating a world that has pockets of darkness, but where he is never lonely.
Director: Danny Yourd
Water, salt and music form a mesmerising visualisation of sound waves
Sex and sexuality
What does the Dutch model of comprehensive, ‘shame-free’ sex-ed look like?
Film and visual culture
A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US
Meaning and the good life
To know or not to know? Lillian weighs the costs of a life-changing genetic test