By Eric Campbell
Award-winning overseas correspondent Eric Campbell has been stoned by way of fundamentalists, captured by way of US specified Forces, arrested in Serbia and threatened with expulsion from China. He′s negotiated relationship rituals in Moscow, shared a home with a charismatic mercenary in Kabul and brought up smoking at gunpoint in Kosovo. In 2003 in Iraq he used to be injured in a suicide bombing which killed his colleague, cameraman Paul Moran. via turns provocative and thoughtful, ABSURDISTAN is a memoir approximately juggling life, love and fatherhood whereas reporting from essentially the most dysfunctional areas on the earth.
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Additional info for Absurdistan
I was in Kurdistan, the part that was supposed to be relatively safe. We had brought gas masks, thinking there might be chemical weapons strikes, but I wasn’t supposed to be lying bleeding in a hospital near the body of my friend. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I looked up and the cameraman was filming me again. I recognised him as the BBC’s shooter. I looked straight into his lens and he glanced up startled. ‘I’m a journalist,’ I said. ‘I met you yesterday. Do you remember my cameraman, Paul?
He helped carry my bags outside into a wall of freezing air. We trudged through the slush and ice to the office car, a Volvo station wagon that looked like a wreck after just two years of Moscow roads in Moscow weather. Volodja pointed to the headlights to show they weren’t working. Then he gestured that it didn’t matter. We drove down the freeway in darkness, Volodja weaving across the ice and slush trying not to be hit by other cars. Moscow looked like a black-and-white movie; the snow turning to grey sleet as we passed kilometre after kilometre of drab high-rise apartment blocks.
I put it down to culture shock but was too busy with work to give it much thought. As bleak as Moscow seemed, it was paradise compared to what lay outside. My first field trip was to the town of Gus Krustalni, a four-hour drive east from Moscow. It was famous for producing Russia’s finest crystal, but like 80 per cent of Russian industrial towns, this one was effectively bankrupt. The state no longer bought the crystal so the factories couldn’t afford to pay wages. Instead, they gave their workers crystal—everything from chandeliers to sets of glassware to elaborate (and hideous) sculptures.
Absurdistan by Eric Campbell