THE ANNEX BLOGTRAVEL TO THE WORLD’S FRINGE PLACES – A PSYCHOGEOGRAPHIC JOURNEY IN 18 PHOTOS – 15.5.15

Roger Willemsen travelled five continents to find his very own ends of the earth. Some ends were great and geographic: the Cape in South Africa, Patagonia, the Himalayas, the Southern Pacific, the North Pole. Others were much more personal and unique: the dimly lit corridor of a Mumbai brothel, a hospital ward in Minsk, a fresco of Judgment Day in Orvieto, a government office in the Congo. Yet these striking psychogeographic portraits, 18 of which are introduced below, also relate a different kind of end: an end to love and lust, to illusions, to order and understanding. The Ends of the Earth is about the end of life – and a fresh start.

The Amu Darya, also known as the Oxus river, running through the borderlands between Afghanistan and Tajikistan

The Amu Darya, also known as the Oxus river, runs through the borderlands between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

A view of Chiang Mai province in Northern Thailand

A view of Chiang Mai province in Northern Thailand, where Roger Willemsen had a transcendental opium experience.

Lake Fucino

Lake Fucino was drained in the late nineteenth century and all that remains are occasional floods, creating large puddles where the lake used to be.

Two tankers crossing the Gibraltar Straits

The Rock of Gibraltar, between Europe and Africa, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, is continuously surrounded by fog and supertankers.

God's Window, South Africa

Some come to South Africa to stand at the Cape of Good Hope, but many say the continent actually ends at God’s Window.

The House of Slaves, Gorée Island

Gorée Island, off the coast of Dakar, has a dark past: it was a node of the transatlantic slave trade.

A Hong Kong street

Hong Kong, a tiny fishing village turned teeming global financial centre, made Roger Willemsen feel a particular kind of loneliness.

An aerial view of Ísafjörður in northern Iceland

Ísafjörður in northern Iceland is home to steep mountains and blistering winters.

A hole revealing lava inside a volcano, Kamchatka

The Kamchatka peninsula is peppered with volcanic activity and some say it offers access to hell.

A hole revealing lava inside a volcano, Kamchatka

A serene Mali can be found on the Dogon plateau, far from Timbuktu’s bustling streets and it’s hawkers.

U Bein bridge, crossing Taung Tha Man Lake in Burma

Sitting next to Taung Tha Man Lake, Mandalay was Burma’s last royal capital. Cross it via the U Bein wooden bridge.

A park in Minsk

Minsk, mostly known as the capital of a country stuck in time, is also one of Europe’s greenest cities.

A lake in Patagonia

Due to its geographic vastness and small population, most Patagonians live isolated lives.

Pozzo di San Patrizio - Orvieto

Orvieto’s Pozzo di San Fabrizio was built in the fourteenth century to provide enough water to the Italian town in case it was besieged. Its deepness has been said to lead to Purgatory.

Prithvi Highway, Himalayas

The Prithvi Highway, at the foot of the Himalayas, is the frequent scene of horrific accidents.

Hall Island, Alaka, USA

If you decide to reach the North Pole on board the nuclear-powered ice-breaker Yamal, you’ll pass Hall Island and its monolithic mountains.

Kingdom of Tonga

The paradisal Kingdom of Tonga was originally named the Friendly Islands by James Cook when he landed there in 1773. Unbeknownst to him, locals actually sought to kill the European visitors but couldn’t decide how.

Indonesian village of Toraja

In the Indonesian village of Toraja, Roger Willemsen encounters a people who deny the discreteness of life and death. Deceased relatives are often exhumed, washed and dressed in new clothes before returning to the grave.

Find out more about Roger Willemsen’s travels in The Ends of the Earth, published by Haus in March 2015.