Disposable Words is an experiment in independent foreign correspondence, photojournalism, and political commentary presented by Flicker Theory. Now in its eighth year, the site also publishes regular international dispatches that focus on a particular region or issue through on-the-ground reporting and photography.
Recent projects include Ransomed Futures: Afghanistan’s Lost Decade, a look at Canada’s changing role in Afghanistan as the NATO-led war enters its second decade, and Between Two Anniversaries, which builds through images and words a picture of Mexico in the months between its bicentenary of independence and centenary of revolution.
Disposable Words co-founder Austin Andrews has profiled stories on six continents for magazines including TIME, Foreign Policy, Maclean’s and Intersection, and in the online edition of National Geographic. Feature documentaries he has shot include Hue, a look at colourism in six countries around the world produced by the National Film Board of Canada, and The Boy From Geita, an exposé of albino witchcraft killings in Tanzania which premiered at the 2014 Hot Docs documentary festival.
Based for a year in Johannesburg, Austin documented ethnic clashes, World Cup preparations and South Africa’s fourth democratic elections for The Times newspaper. He also undertook long-term projects for the governments of South Africa and the European Union, and NGOs including Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the International Organization for Migration. Covering the war in Afghanistan in 2011, Austin profiled Canada’s role in the NATO-led ISAF military campaign in Kabul and Kandahar. While in Kabul, he also provided additional on-the-ground reporting and correspondence for BBC World News during the September terror attacks, and covered Afghanistan’s first-ever rock music festival for ABC Radio. His photo essay A Black Hole in the Rainbow Nation documented the plight of Zimbabwean refugees fleeing political and economic turmoil at home.