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Agence VU - David Maurice Smith / Oculi
David Maurice Smith / Oculi

David Maurice Smith is a Canadian documentary photographer currently based in Sydney, Australia. His work focuses on marginalized communities and cross-cultural issues through still imagery and multimedia. He joined Australia's Oculi Collective in 2012.

David's work has been recognized in the International Photography Awards, The American Photography Awards, The Anthrophographica Awards, The Head On Portrait prize and in 2013 he was named Australian Emerging Documentary Photographer of the Year. In 2013 he was also the recipient of the $10,000 POOL Grant. His images have been exhibited at the International Centre for Photography (NYC), The Museum of the City of New York, The State Library of New South Wales and as a part of PHOTOVILLE (NYC), The Reportage Festival, The American Photography Symposium, The Head On Photo Festival and the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. His images have been collected by the State Libraries of New South Wales and Western Australia.

His clients include Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, GEO Magazine, Le Monde, Outside Magazine, CNN, The Discovery Channel, Monocle, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.

  Travelling : Vancouver, Canada



Raised by rugby (2018)

The All Blacks team has dominated the world rugby rankings since its introduction in 2003. Rarely has domination in a sport been so long, and New Zealand's domination has been mostly due to the formation of elite school teams. Rugby is one of the main subjects of the educational programs in many secondary schools in New Zealand, with a common goal of creating future All Blacks. Gisborne Boys' High School in Gisborne on the North Island of New Zealand is one of them. This school, as it produces elite players and wins a national or international competition on a regular basis, remains one of the most prestigious in the country. Its defining feature is that the training of its team is...

Tiwi Islands, wild paradise of Australia (2018)

The remote Tiwi Islands are part of the Northern Territory of Australia, 80 km to the north of Darwin where the Arafura Sea joins the Timor Sea. They comprise Melville Island, Bathurst Island, and nine smaller uninhabited islands, with a combined area of 8,320 square kilometres (3,212 sq mi). Inhabited before European settlement by the Tiwi indigenous Australians, there are approximately 3,000 people on the islands. Non-Aboriginal people require special permission to visit and the culture is very rich and traditional. Tiwi legends, passed down through the generations in story, song, dance, sculpture and painting, tell of the Dreamtime creation of the the islands by Mudangkala, a...

Building a Better Coral Reef (2017)

Des scientifiques s’efforcent de ralentir le dépérissement rapide des coraux marins en reproduisant les individus sains. L’une des conséquences du réchauffement climatique a été la mort, en 2015 et en 2016, de près de la moitié des coraux de la Grande Barrière de Corail en Australie. Pour contrer cette lente destruction amorcée il y a plus de trente ans, des scientifiques australiens et américains se sont penché sur la possibilité de développer des espèces de coraux plus résistantes aux vagues de chaleur récurrentes. D’accélérer l’évolution en somme, même si cela peut soulever des problèmes éthiques. David Maurice Smith a suivi ces chercheurs dans leurs sorties sous-marines pour...

Refugees crisis (2015)

Since September 2015, more and more refugees have been trying to get to Western Europe countries overland. David Maurice Smith has been following their route - he espacially took pictures of the evolution of the tensions that progressively arose at the border between Serbia and Hungary. Since the end of World War II, none of the population displacement was as important as the exode movements that have been pressuring the European borders since 2014. The number of refugees has been increasing every day since this summer – according to some forcasts, Germany will welcome in 2015 four times as much migrants as in 2014. Hoping for a better life, thousands of refugees, mainly Syrians but...

Australia, Mandaean Baptism Ceremony (2014)

These images are of a Mandaean baptism ceremony on the shores of the Nepean river in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia. Mandaeans are followers of John the Baptist. It is an ancient religion and they gather at the river to be cleansed of their sins, a baptism of sorts. They dress in white “rastas” which symbolize purity and during the ceremony they cannot speak or touch anyone else until the baptism is over. They are immersed, take a gulp of water and have a sprig of myrtle tucked under their headscarf by the priest who recites prayers in Mandaic, a dialect of Aramic. Traditionally Mandaeans lived in what is now Iran and Iraq and were known as goldsmiths. They have always been...

Seeking Asylum, Indonesia (2014)

UNHCR statistics estimate that in 2013 there were over 10,000 asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia with many of them living in the Cisarua region. It is here that the heartbreaking human stories so common to asylum seekers can be easily heard. Initially asylum seekers from Iran and Iraq were attracted to the area by a local population that spoke Arabic (Saudi men had historically traveled there for holidays focused on carnal pursuits). Sudanese, Eritrean, Somali, Afghani, Indian, Sri Lankan, Burmese and Pakistanis followed, lured by solidarity, affordability, cooler temperatures and a proximity to the UNHCR offices in Jakarta. Many arrived with hopes of taking boats on the precarious...

Living in the Shadows: The Barkindji people of Wilcannia, Australia (2013)

The Australian Aboriginal community of Wilcannia serves as a confronting example of the wrongs inflicted on Aboriginal people through colonization and its contemporary systemic manifestations. The towns aprox 700 residents live in the shadows of the harsh stereotypes associated with being "black" in Australia. The Barkindji (the name of the traditional people of the area) despite being the traditional keepers of one of the most prosperous countries on the planet endure conditions similar to that of many third world nations. Wilcannia's men have an average life expectancy of only 35 years, the rate of domestic violence is 13 times that of other Australian communities, the unemployment...

ORIGINS: The roots of hip hop in New York City (2011)

ORIGINS is an intimate reportage exploring the culture of hip hop as a form of expression and a reaction to the conditions faced by African Americans living in the housing projects of New York City. The elements of music, dance and art associated with hip hop are the outcomes of a hood lifestyle in communities faced with poverty, violence, racism, drugs, crime and unemployment. It is a climate where opportunity does not knock. To the African Americans for which adverse social conditions still exist, hip hop is not simply music... it is a way of life. Despite a modern day global appeal and widespread commercialization that sees life imitating art, at it’s heartland in the 5 boroughs...

The Mountain Kingdom, India (2011)

With an ethnic Tibetan population, ancient buddhist culture and rugged mountain beauty, the Ladakh region of North India is one of the most majestic and culturally inspiring areas in the world. Sitting at an elevation mostly over 3000 metres the region resembles a moonscape where ancient traditions are played out in temples and monastery’s hundreds of years old and clinging to the sides of gigantic Himalayan peaks. Now bustling centres visited by travelers in the summer months, many of the towns in the region were once stopovers on ancient Asian trade routes in the trade of salt, grain, wool and other items. What were once trails passable only on foot or by beast are now death defying...

Rishikesh: The Gateway, India (2010)

In the North Indian state of Uttarakhand, the bustling town of Rishikesh sits perched at the foot of the Himalayan foothills and marks the transition point from which the Ganges river, it’s lifeblood goes from raging through the biggest mountains in the world to meandering the plains of India. Revered for its’ spiritual significance to Hindus, it is known as a gateway, both to the looming Himalayan mountains but also to the spiritual awareness sought by the thousands of spiritual travelers that flock to it every year. The banks of the Ganges are packed with temples, yoga centres and ghats on which locals and visitors alike commune with the gods in daily rituals and ceremony as well as...

Hike in Tasmania (2010)

The Australian Island state of Tasmania sits 240 kilometres south of the countries mainland, far removed from its motherland and further removed from the outside world. It is a remote and wild place who’s rugged geography, diverse landscapes and extreme weather add to the uniqueness of this “land before time”. Sitting landlocked at the core of the island and in the Wold Heritage listed wilderness area is the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National park, over 1,600 square kilometres of glacially formed wilderness and home to one of Australia’s most famous bush walks, The Overland Track. Winding through 85 kilometres of diverse terrain ranging from jagged mountains, temperate...

La Isla de las Munecas (2007)

As a disturbing testament to both the spirit of a young girl and the commitment of a god fearing man, a morbid yet beautiful monument of literally thousands of dolls in various states of decay and infestation remain are found on La isla de las Munecas. Legend states that many years ago a peasant farmer named Don Julian Santana sought to appease the spirit of a young girl that tragically drowned in the dark waters of a nearby canal by presenting the spirit with an offering... a child's doll. The appeasement worked, however the spirits appetite for dolls grew and Julian became forced to scour the countryside for more and more offerings. He became obsessed with the collection of the figures,...


    2013 - Shortlisted for the Anthropographia Awards for Human Rights, Multimedia category, with the movie "Living in the Shadows"

    2013 - Australia's Emerging Documentary photographer of the year

    2013 - Finalist for the 2013 Head On Portrait Prize, Australia's largest portrait prize.

    2013 - POOL Grant

    2012 - Runner-Up, Australian Emerging Photographer of the year Award

    2011 - LIFE Magazine Grant of Eddie Adams Workshop

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