Current Issue
ARCHIVE
SUBSCRIBE
BUY ISSUES
BOOKS
EXHIBITS
FILMS
MUSIC
LINKS
CONTACT

DRUGS 62

ALL DRUGS START OUT BEAUTIFUL

In each issue of COLORS, we conduct a “Core Sample” — a close-up look at life, as it relates to our theme, in a randomly selected locale. For this “Drugs” issue, our correspondent in India visited a single multifamily dwelling in Gurgaon, Delhi ("What We Use"). One of the residents he spoke to declared, “Indian households don’t keep many drugs around.” And yet, when the families photographed for this story opened up their cabinets and cupboards to show us the drugs they had on hand, we discovered a cornucopia of substances — a surprisingly rich and varied microcosm of everyday drug culture.
 
The truth is, drugs — whether we realize it or not — permeate all of our lives. Beyond obvious medicinal and recreational drugs, illegal and legal (and mundane, like coffee and wine and cigarettes), and beyond all the herbal tonics and traditional remedies that exist outside the purview of global pharmaceutical giants, drugs, as a geopolitical force, are intrinsically mood altering.

None of us can escape the seismic ripple effect of the world’s interlinked drug cultures — the way that drugs create great wealth and poverty, fuel economies large and small, fund and provoke wars, extend and shorten lives (both directly and indirectly), and set governmental and multinational agendas.

No matter what we’re “on.”
marijuana
Gansu Province, China
1997
PHOTO BY Russell Gordon
tobacco
Quebec, Canada
2001
PHOTO BY CORBIS
Poppies (for heroin)
France
1994
PHOTO BY Harry Gruyaert
coffee
Kauai, Hawaii
1994
PHOTO BY Wolfgang Kaehler
Back to
Table of Contents