Photographer charts London drug use through discarded zipper bags

Dan Giannopoulos has been taking pictures of 'baggies' he has discovered on the street and placing the different designs on a map of the capital

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

A photographer is attempting to chart patterns in drug use across London by collecting the discarded plastic bags they are held in.

Dan Giannopoulos has been recording his collection of ‘baggies’ - which often feature graphics printed on them - through photography since January of this year, focussing on south east London.

He has began plotting the finds on a map and hopes to expand the project to the whole of the capital.

“I tend to find more bags in more of the working-class areas I've been to – the kind of areas that have a reputation for drug use,” he told Vice in an interview.

“It's quite random at the moment, but I was going to carry on working on it for a year or so and map any patterns that show up.”

“I have noticed that, in certain areas I go to, I'll find the same bag over and over again. There's one I found with a machine gun on it – I've found maybe 30, 35 of them, and they all tend to be located around one particular area in Thamesmead.”

Mr Giannopoulos said he started the project after noticing the bags in his local area around Greenwich and Lewisham, and began to see them as small pieces of street art that are consistently overlooked.

“The initial visual aspect is what drew me in, then plotting the locations of the bags, considering the social aspect and seeing if there was a pattern in specific areas came later,” he said.