Paolo Woods, Gabriele Galimberti, Nicholas Shaxson (essay)

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"Since the banking crisis of 2008 the world of international finance has increasingly come under the spotlight. The consequent squeeze on public finances has led to global firms such as Starbucks, Google and Amazon coming under fire for the techniques that they use to avoid paying tax. There seems to be a growing culture of naming and shaming companies, and an increasing pressure on governments to act. Underpinning much of this financial manipulation by the global brands is the shadowy world of the tax haven. They may be legal but their morality is deeply unsettling.

Driven by a relentless obsession to translate this rather immaterial subject into images, Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti have spent over two years travelling to the offshore centres that embody tax avoidance, secrecy, offshore banking and extreme wealth. Their photographs reveal a world of exploitation and privilege that distorts the financial markets and benefits those that already have the most. The book is presented as if it were an annual report and the accompanying text by author Nicholas Shaxson presents a clear insight into how these tax havens feed into the global economy and how they impact not only on the world of business but also on our everyday lives.

Born of Canadian and Dutch parentage, photographer Paolo Woods grew up in Italy. He has published five previous books, including Chinafrica, which deals with the spectacular rise of the Chinese in Africa. Translated into eleven languages it has been widely acclaimed. Woods has received a number of prizes, including two World Press Photo Awards. Italian born photographer, Gabriele Galimberti has published three previous books, with Random House and Abrams. His work has featured in over 100 international publications.

Nicholas Shaxson is the author of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World, and Poisoned Wells: the dirty politics of African oil. He has written extensively for publications including Vanity Fair, the Financial Times and The Economist and currently writes for the Tax Justice Network." (publisher's note)

"An incredibly thorough exposé of the whole business surrounding dodgy tax havens. Not the most photogenic subject, but they have found good images from these bland and occasionally exotic places, backed up by forensic research." (Martin PARR, photoeye, source: ttp://blog.photoeye.com/2015/12/best-books-2015-martin-parr.html)

The Heavens is on 6 of the most respected photobooks-of-the-year lists?
Photoeye, selected by Martin Parr :http://blog.photoeye.com/2015/12/best-books-2015-martin-parr.html
Rob Hornstra (https://www.instagram.com/borotov/)
PDN (http://www.pdnonline.com/features/Notable-Photo-Books-of-2015-Part-2-15275.shtml)
Lens Culture (https://www.lensculture.com/articles/lensculture-editors-10-favorite-and-unusual-photobooks-of-2015?utm_source=General+List&utm_campaign=0970bf5183-12%2F11%2F15+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f1724e682d-0970bf5183-70506317)
Internazionale (http://www.internazionale.it/opinione/flash/2015/12/21/migliori-libri-fotografia-2015)
MotherJones (http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/12/10-top-photo-books-2015-steacy-snyder)

about the photographer:
Paolo Woods was born of Canadian and Dutch parentage. He grew up in Italy lived in Paris and is now based in Haiti.
He ran a laboratory and a photo gallery in Florence, Italy, before dedicating himself to documentary photography in 1998. He is devoted to long-term projects that blend photography with investigative journalism. In 2003, with the journalist Serge Michel, he published the book 'Un monde de Brut (A crule world)'. Tackling the subject of oil, this story involved working in, among other places, Angola, Russia, Kazakhstan, Texas and Iraq. In 2004 he published the book 'American chaos', a detailled reportage on western debacle in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both books have been published in France and Italy, and as magazione pieces in 15 different countries. In 2007/2008 he has documented the spectacular rise of the Chines in Africa. The book 'Chinafrica', again consigned with Serge Michel, has been published in France and translated in twelve languages including English, Spanish and Chinese. In 2010 he completed the project 'Walk on my Eyes', an intimate portrait of the Iranian society. The book has been published in France in summer 2012 and the show has premiered at the Festival of Arles in France. 2013 followed the book 'State (Etat)' about the (not existing) state Haiti; 2015 he published 'The Heavens Annual Report' at Dewi Lewis Media.
His work regularly appears in 'Time', 'Newsweek', 'Le Monde', 'Geo' and many other international publications.