Photographer and director born in the Netherlands in 1970 of Dutch mother and Canadian father, Paolo Woods grew up in Italy then lived in Haiti and in Paris. He dedicates to long-term projects where the photography is an instrument of investigation of the contemporary world. Having launched a deep investigation on the world of the oil and having made a long report on the American wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, he documented during two years the spectacular Chinese conquest of Africa.
He has had solo exhibitions in more then a dozen countries and his pictures are in private and public collections. He has received a number of prizes, including two World Press Photo Awards. He published five books, among which Chinafrique, translated in 11 languages. His work is regularly published in the international press.
With the photographer Gabriele Galimberti he investigated three years into the tax havens, subject exhibited in Rencontres d'Arles in 2015 and which gave rise to a very beautiful book: The Heavens - Annual Report, published by Dewi Lewis.
"A geyser of money for the rich, a thin brook for the poor people: it is the result of a quarter of century of presents of the taxman."
"Fight against tax havens it is as to form a dam with a sieve."
Book: The Heavens - Annual Report - Paolo Woods et Gabriele Galimberti / A Dewi Lewis Media title
Tax havens have quietly taken the world by storm. More than half of world trade now passes through these places. They are in the news every day, and are fast becoming a constant fixture of the political debate. The growing flow of articles and reports on this poorly understood subject are usually illustrated with images of palm-fringed tropical beaches.
Is that what tax havens really look like? From Delaware to Jersey; from Singapore to Panama; from the British Virgin Islands to the City of London, passing through Cayman, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, we take you on a tour into a rarely seen, secretive world that is quite different from what you imagine.
For more then two years we have travelled to the offshore centers that embody tax avoidance, secrecy, offshore banking and extreme wealth, driven by a constant obsession with translating this rather immaterial subject into images. We have produced a body of work that shows what these places look like, but, even more importantly, what they mean....