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I'm a journalist, writer and editor who loves underground arts and culture and underground anything really.

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Commission me: isaacmuk96@gmail.com

My Latest Work

Meet the mudlarkers uncovering London’s hidden history

It’s a hazy morning in the centre of London along the bank of the river Thames. Looking downstream stands London’s tallest building, The Shard, and dotted around are other landmarks of the UK’s capital – The Oxo Tower, the Tate Modern art gallery, and the ever-grand St. Paul’s Cathedral. As thousands of tourists, city workers and London residents stroll along the footpaths, and the sound of slow-moving traffic blares from the main road, just below eye level Caroline Nunneley and Sean Clarke are

Surreal scenes from the streets of Southern Thailand

Around the year 2000, having recently completed a degree at Bangkok’s art-specialising Silpakorn University, Sakulchai Sikitikul was working for an advertising company in the city. Having grown up on the opposite end of Thailand, in the southern Songkhla province – over 450 miles away as the crow flies – a part of him always yearned to return home. Eventually, that urge would develop into an impulse, and in 2003 he returned to take over the family business, selling spare parts to local people a

Gritty photos of Belfast amid The Troubles

Around the turn of the year 1991, while living in his native Denmark, Krass Clement received an invitation to stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland – a much-loved residence for artists and creative workers. Having never been to Ireland before, he set off in his Peugeot Cabriolet convertible, driving across much of northern Europe before reaching the island via a ferry crossing. “It was kind of an anachronism for the Irish roads and weather,” Clement says of his convertibl

Intimate portraits of today’s American nomads

In the Autumn of 2017, while sitting in his New York City home, photographer Tim Eastman picked up a copy of Jessica Bruder’s book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. Now adapted into the Oscar-winning film starring Frances McDormand, the book explores the lives of Americans, known as ‘workampers’, who moved in RVs (motor vehicle homes) and converted vans following the 2008 economic crisis, who travel across the US between jobs for mostly seasonal work. “I’ve always had a

Desolate and haunting photos of Pitcairn Island

Around the year 1992, while living a fairly normal life for a seven-year-old-girl in Ireland, Rhiannon Adam’s father came home one day with a proposition. A boatbuilder by trade, he’d harboured a dream of upping sticks and sailing around the world. Despite his family’s reservations, after seeing an advertisement on a pub notice board, they ended up selling everything they owned and buying a 42-foot steel boat, embarking across the globe for the next eight years. Just before leaving, to win a yo

Photos capturing the final days of British rule in Hong Kong

Towards the end of the year 1996, Birdy Chu was in the freezing cold midst of the Canadian winter when he made the decision to return to his place of birth – Hong Kong. In less than a year, the city-peninsula, which had been a colony of Great Britain since the mid-19th century, was to be passed back to China in what was known as ‘The Handover’. “The Handover [was] a very crucial year in Hong Kong history – a year of transition,” Chu says. “So I came back here to capture the historic moment.” H

Photos exploring Black Britishness in the 21st century

Over two years ago in January 2020, while Johny Pitts was living in Marseille, southern France, he received a visit from poet Roger Robinson and his partner Nicola Griffiths. Having previously collaborated on Robinson’s T.S. Elliot award-winning book A Portable Paradise (Pitts provided the photograph for the front cover), the pair toured the best sights the city had to offer, all the while discussing their favourite topics: poetry and photography. With ideas bouncing off each other freely, one

Mad Radio unveil their full summer beach party season plans

Barcelona stalwarts Mad Radio have revealed the line-ups for their full season of summer Mad Radio At the Beach parties. Set across secret beach locations a short bus ride away from the city centre, the four events feature some of the biggest and brightest in the scene. The first party this Saturday on 30 July, is headlined by Berlin-based digger So-Fi, bringing her unique bass-flecked style to the sands, along with London’s Art of Dark resident Vass. Running from 15:00 to 02:00, alongside them

Premiere: A2 - Yoske - Port Town [GMV02]

For their second release, German-based outfit Gjidoda Music brings together a VA record from the man behind the label, Gjidoda – and some of his closest collaborators. Following the excellent first release, ‘Mute City’ is a collection of understated, moody minimal tracks that are both very listenable and functional at the same time. Produced by Yoske, the second song on the record – ‘Port Town’, is a standout track. Originally from Nagoya in Japan, the producer has been a veteran on the Berlin

Troubled Land: photos capturing the impact of conflict on Northern Ireland’s landscape

At the beginning of the year 1984, a young, early-career Paul Graham was given a commission. In lieu of George Orwell’s seminal book titled 1984, London’s The Photographer’s Gallery asked six photographers to explore the state of the United Kingdom in that same year that Orwell’s dystopian novel was set. “It was a rather silly thing,” Graham says. “Everyone’s moved beyond, forgotten about that, but of course, it was the Orwellian prophecy – where are we now? Are we in Orwellian times?” Within

Black Country: unflinching portraits of overlooked people from the Midlands

Nearly a decade ago, in 2013, Bruce Gilden was strolling through the streets of Dudley, in the English West Midlands. Walking past a bookies, a Greggs bakery and a discount pound store, Gilden looked around attentively at passers-by, staring at the contours and wrinkles of their faces, searching for someone who could make the subject of a good photograph. One man caught his eye, so he gently approached the man. Attempting to find some common ground, he asked: “Can you tell me what time the game

Thomas Hoepker’s photos capture the fragility of the American Dream

Nearly six decades ago, in 1963, a young and fresh-faced Thomas Hoepker was working as a staff photographer at West Germany-based magazine Kristall. Backed by the enviable budget of a 20th-century print publication, Horst Mahnker, then editor-in-chief, asked him a simple question: “Do you feel like discovering America?” Naturally, Hoepker did. Armed with a camera and partnered with writer Rolf Winter, he set off on a three-month road trip that took them from the east coast to the west and back

Photos documenting Japan’s underground subcultures in the ’90s

In the heady spring of 1974, a young Bruce Gilden went to see the latest exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Adorning the walls was New Japanese Photography, a collection of shots from the most eminent photographers from the East Asian archipelago. The exhibition provided a glimpse into Japanese art, culture, and daily life – featuring photographers such as Shomei Tomatsu, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Daido Moriyama and Masahisa Fukase. Gilden was drawn in: “They were influenced by [wes

Photos capturing conflict & resilience in Eastern Europe in the ‘90s

Nearly three decades ago, with her New York newspaper on strike, photographer Robin Graubard found herself with a free afternoon. With the day off from covering court stories or shooting glitzy red carpet events, she took a stroll down to her local neighbourhood park on the east side of Manhattan – Ralph Bunche Park. Due to its location opposite the United Nations headquarters, the park is often a site where demonstrators gather. On this occasion, a small group of women were protesting the war

Inspiring climate action to get involved in this Earth Day

On Wednesday 6 April 2022, NASA data scientist Peter Kalmus decided that he’d had enough. Dressed in his white lab coat and flanked by three other science professionals, he handcuffed himself to a branch of JP Morgan Chase in downtown Los Angeles, USA. Joined to the investment bank that funds the largest volume of new fossil fuel projects in the world, Kalmus gave a moving speech, tearing up as he told the world: “We’ve been trying to warn you guys for so many decades, that we’re heading toward

Rising Stars: Unai Trotti and Raphael Carrau

It is Saturday at the September edition of Nostromo Festival, an hour away from Paris. Dawn has turned into morning, with midday rapidly approaching. The music is fast and rolling, yet still subtle, as gentle pads fade in and out, interspersed with ravey stabs and Unai Trotti and Raphael Carrau have found their groove, and the crowd, who should be weary after a long night of dancing, are absolutely going for it. “Yeah, Nostromo was really good, we found a good flow”, says Unai with wry humility

Anti-East Asian racism rose under COVID – but it has a long, grim history

The news last month of mass shootings in three massage parlours in Atlanta, Georgia, at least one of which was Korean owned, chilled me – and chilled East Asian people worldwide. Of the eight people who were killed in the shootings, six were women of East Asian descent. Investigators have not yet confirmed whether they consider this shooting to be racially motivated. But the attack came amidst a rising tide of violence against people of an East Asian appearance in the West over the past year.

What To Do Now These Racist Statues Have Gone

2) DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CALL OUT FAR-RIGHT PROTESTORS FOR WHAT THEY ARE: RACISTS 3) USE THE SPACES LET BEHIND TO EDUCATE AND INFORM “We need to understand the lives of Black people in Britain, the history of which goes back to the Roman times, [so that we can] understand that Britain has not stood alone, as an island,” she says. Whether it is Black abolitionists, or “important Black figures in the war, such as Mary Seacole”, we should be learning about the important roles that Black people have

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