Village of Desa Pologunting, Surabaya, Indonesia. In 2006, Lipindo, a private company unsafely drilling for natural gas, struck an underground reservoir of toxic mud and gases. The ensuing eruption completely buried 12 surrounding villages. Other villages were severely affected by the mud and their soil has been completely contaminated with carcinogenic toxins. The mud is still flowing and is expected to flow for the next 20 years. No compensation has been made to the victims. The residents of Desa Pologunting were told by the government that they had to leave due to the toxin levels. The residents salvaged materials from their abandoned homes to build new homes, often as close as 20 meters away. These photographs are of the abandoned homes, picked apart for their materials over the years.
Michael has a history of photographing fashion and music. Having honed her skills assisting some of the world's best photographers when she was young, she is now photographing worldwide travel, documentary and pro sports from a unique and cinematic perspective. For 7 months in 2011, she lived and worked In Italy, shooting behind the scenes in the world of professional cycling. She produced photo essays and short documentary films exploring the world's most loved cycling brands including Milani Cycles, Colnago, De Rosa, Bianchi, Fi'zi:k and more. She has covered Pro Cycling in Europe for Peloton Magazine, Paved Magazine, and CyclingFans.com. Michael is also currently a freelance documentary photographer and filmmaker for UNICEF in West Africa and recently traveled to India and Nepal to produce a documentary film for The World of Children Award Foundation. She recently traveled to Mexico for The Girl Effect as well. Michael lives in New York and is a contributor to Corbis Images for Documentary and Special Projects. She is a 2012 Communication Arts Photo Annual Winner. In 2014, Michael plans to continue traveling the world and is always eager to get her hands dirty.