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For Suzi, Jelly & Beezie in no particular order

Oliver Malin

First published by Old Country Productions in 2011 (c) Oliver Malin 2011 All rights reserved The moral rights of the author have been asserted Old Country Productions UK: Studio 7, 220 Arlington Road, NW1 7HE, London All enquiries: ISBN: 978-0-9569205-0-8

Studio Photography: Tim Street Photography/Text: Oliver Design/Editorial: Old Country Productions -

After graduating from university in 2008, an opportunity arose to work in Los Angeles.

Three weeks of incessant photocopying later, I was desperate to explore the city

LA is a vast network of areas like Culver City, Santa Monica, Downtown etc interconnected by sprawling roads & freeways. If you haven’t got a car, the only way to get around is the extensive bus network. I had no driving license, no money: public buses became my lifeline

Unlike public transport in most countries, using the bus carries a real social stigma. Instead of being the lifeline of everyone, it is a punishment.....

My initial bus journeys took me along Wilshire Boulevard, which goes through the heart of central LA, all the way Downtown.

The reality of everyday life was brought home on these trips; The world before me was far removed from the glamourous LA I had imagined

Instinctively, I began photographing & drawing the people I saw on the bus & the places I visited

Watts Towers

What began with an impulse purchase, a deck of cards, grew into a fully illustrated record of my experiences of the city

Life is Luck: An Introduction to LA (2008)

I returned to the UK at the start of 2009 with bleak job prospects and a depleted bank balance. Doom and gloom was everywhere

I was relieved when a job arose in manufacturing with an old friend in Kingston-Upon-Thames, just outside of London

Day after day, I saw my friend at the desk next to me working with such passion and drive, it inspired me to keep pursuing my hobbies

It didn’t make me a better employee, but helped me to focus on drawing and my own ideas

I was reminded daily that with hardwork, passion and a bit of luck, anything is possible.

Being in a productive environment aids whatever you aspire to do; I throughly recommend it.

During this time, I developed a fixation with cycling. 15 miles first thing in the morning was my idea of fun.

Cycling makes you more conscious of the places around you and as such I started to notice the amount of crushed cans everywhere.

A lot of news reports in the UK, often conclude with a special report on “binge� drinking.

These consist of a worried sounding voice over images of broken glass, police vans, large groups of rowdy men swearing & women on hen nights wearing ill fitting outfits.

Watching one of the reports, which showed cans being hurled around, I was drawn to the idea of using these discarded objects to depict my experiences of contemporary society

A discarded, repeatedly crushed can is a perfect symbol for the state of the UK. All our values & beliefs being trampled upon, in every physical and digital space, we are bombarded with adverts, telling us to buy, buy, buy.

Whilst the economic downtown is used as a backdrop to take from those most in need of support, alcohol is even cheaper & stronger for those who need it least

However there is plenty to celebrate & respect in our complex society, which is in the midst of the greatest flux of the modern era

This book is a study of contemporary society in the UK

We Are Disposable


Older people should be treated with greater respect & admired instead of being ignored and belittled.

In the UK, you are probably more likely to find a billboard/advertisment than a tree

A lot of restaurants, which are key to cultural & regional identity are being replaced by generic fast-food outlets offering cheap & unhealthy food.

Nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, a condition experienced in part by 53% of people surveyed (YouGov)

1,285 Tesco Expresses exist ( 2011), like most elements of a capitalist society, it’s hard to say if this is a good or bad thing

I saw him at about 8 am in central London. He was waiting for the girl he worked with at a sandwich stand. This was the last moment before the working day began .

In the absence of a favourable climate, our sense of humour is best thing we have

He asked me to take his picture for his facebook profile Social media is one of the driving forces in the digital revolution. Designed to bring us together through maintaining & nuturing relationships, it is subtly pushing us apart

Sleep seems to be the only thing we don’t go to war over

Most of our and would be overturned talking to

prejudices preconceptions if we just began each other

Our public transport networks are better than we give them credit for

The tube in london is as old as time itself, that is why it needs repairing every night

It is nice to see a child playing in the rain or mesmerised by all the colours in the supermarket

A child’s innocence and sense of wonder is something we should all try and keep intact

As the truth of life isn’t as fun as a box full of toys

500 people too many sleep rough each night in UK

500 people too many sleep homeless each night

A smile shows more than teeth

Pastor Wally Holt holds the record for smiling continuously, set at 423 days. (Guinness book of records 2011)

Our differences are opportunites not threats

All our anger and frustration can be used positively

A job will take you further than an excuse

What more do we seek ?

Waiting, can hold you back but also take you forward

Summer is overrated ?

These were the people I saw everyday in Kingston

And where my journey began

This piece is missing in action

The Musuem of Everything, Exhibition 2, Tate Modern, May 2010

Solo show at Camden Town Unlimited- Feb 2011 (Music Night) with Monument Valley & The Joker & The Thief

We Are Disposable  

A study of contemporary society in the UK

We Are Disposable  

A study of contemporary society in the UK