Oliver Clasper is an American-British visual artist and journalist who has had his writing and photography published in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Time Out, The Wire, Vice, The Quietus, South China Morning Post and The Jakarta Post, among others. He previously worked as a researcher for Human Rights Watch; a headline news editor at the Associated Press; and as a sound recordist and production assistant on the groundbreaking documentary The Act of Killing, in Indonesia.
Acclaim for The Spaces We Inherit:
'Oliver Clasper's journey with his camera through the geography of American lynching is at once a devastating history piece and an eloquent sorrow. We stare into the flat, sunlit, mundane places where something horrid occurred a generation ago, or three, and in a way experience it all over again - or at least a fraction of how it might have been. In the banal we can glimpse the terror, in the serenity the obscene.'
Paul Hendrickson, author of Sons of Mississippi, winner of the 2003 National Books Critics Circle Award
'Scholars, writers, and artists have struggled to confront the horror of lynchings and its continued influence on American life. Oliver Clasper’s compelling, extraordinary work, which connects particular lynchings with photographs of the places they occurred, is a new and powerful approach, profound in its evocative power.'
Margaret Vandiver, author of Lethal Punishment: Lynchings and Legal Executions in the South
'The lynch mob's crime was designed for oblivion. There were no records kept, no arraignment, indictment, or trial, only the coroner's conclusion: 'death at the hands of persons unknown.' Oliver Clasper's poignant work reminds us that in America's city intersections, as well as by its quiet country roads and bridges, lives the burdensome history of this extreme form of racial injustice. It is all of ours to know, and remember.'
Philip Dray, author of At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America
All images © 2020 Oliver Clasper. All rights reserved.