Brave Books

A spread from Lewis Bush’s photobook Shadows of the State

Shadows of the State
by Lewis Bush

The Cold War ended in 1991, but echoes of it can still be heard today. One example of this are numbers stations, short wave radio broadcasts of coded messages, believed to be intended for undercover agents in enemy states. Despite originating in the darkest days of the last century these transmissions continue today, with broadcasts occurring daily from countries including Russia, Cuba, and North Korea.

Shadows of the State is a photographic project by Lewis Bush which investigates these mysterious broadcasts and attempts to locate the likely transmitter sites of thirty of these stations. These sites are then mapped using high resolution satellite imagery and displayed alongside radio spectrograms, audio recordings, and extensive information about each station.

Shadows of the State is not just about numbers stations and their broadcast sites it’s about the state within a state, a Leviathan that hides in the deep waters. /

The images and the content of the book bring to mind the opening titles of the Coen brothers 2008 film Burn After Reading. / Lina Manousogiannaki, Urbanautica