HEAVY METAL HAVEN
CONVENT STUDIO ARTIST PROGRAM
At the beginning of 2008 the National news reported on a small isolated Aboriginal community in a Northern Territory town called Wadeye, formerly known as the catholic mission Port Keats. Violent riots had erupted between the town gangs and it looked like the Australian Armed Forces were going to have to be brought in to settle the fighting. The publicity brought to light the unusual names of these Indigenous gangs. They were all named after Heavy Metal Bands, with the dominating gangs being the Slayer Mob and the Judas Priest Boys.
Photographer Jonathan West ventured the three thousand kilometres from Melbourne to Wadeye mid last year for Vice Magazine. Nothing could have prepared him for what he found.