is creating Grassroots Heritage, journalism, and other anthropology projects
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About James

Journalism. Exploration. Videos.

Nothing exists in a vacuum.

This project brings you the stories that impact our modern society in ways we don't see. From modern events, to world mysteries, and the heritage hidden in between.

For the past five years I've been traveling, exploring, and writing about topics related to the human condition: from world events to world mysteries. My core area is the Asia-Pacific, however there are threads to pull on all over the world. I want to take you along as I follow more stories and explore, and I need your help to make this project bloom.

Hi I'm James. I'm a PhD candidate, journalist, anthropologist, and writer. Combining these areas I've been generating multimedia linking news, society, events, history, traditions, science, and art together. The more I've traveled the more I've realized everything is connected. In this modern world based on the division of labor we tend to ignore a lot of this. With your help, we can bring it back.

What this project is.

Specifically, I'm writing articles and papers, photographing, creating videos, and other multimedia. I'm creating content from my field sites and  that brings newsworthy world events and anthropology together. Add some scientific method, the natural environment, and world traveling. Think of it as "Bill Nye meets Indiana Jones" with a dash of journalism.

My two core activities are 1. writing articles on issues impacting the Asia-Pacific region, and 2. doing fieldwork on site in heritage spaces, particularly those which are at-risk of destruction, and pulling together missing threads of forgotten history and heritage. Often times, these intersect.

The bigger picture is to show how everything is connected. How do current events impact other parts of the globe? How are these events shaped by the past or interpreted by local cosmologies and social structures? What have we forgotten of the past? How can indigenous knowledge shape the future? Why are so many global myths so similar?

What you'll see from this project:
Frankly, more of the same content. I enjoy writing about these important topics, but sometimes my editors won't take a story. Sometimes an article or paper won't do, and videos or photographs are necessary.

See FAQs below.

Supporting this project.

This Patreon is set up to help offset costs of doing field work and keep me going in this area. Think of it this way: if you like my reporting, photography, and videos, why not pitch in a dollar or so each month to keep the project running? The more support I receive from you here, the more I'll be able to focus on this project, creating articles, papers, videos, photo essays, and other multimedia content. I'm writing, making videos, and other media on this topic for two reasons:
  1. It's my area of specialty, related to my PhD research, and I want to share what I'm discovering.
  2. In the gig economy, writing and lectures keeps me fed.
Your support will sustain more content. If you've enjoyed the articles, papers, lectures, and photo essays I've been creating in the past, please consider being a sustaining supporter of this project!

$1 - Hey, thanks. If you like what I'm doing, please consider being a supporter at this level.

For now I only have a $1 tier. I want to add more later, but for the time being I don't have too much extra to offer, but I appreciate your support. Later I'll add additional tiers with benefits and some fundraising goals.

Patreon is a safe and secure online platform that allows creators like me to be financially supported by patrons like you. Many great works have been supported by patrons, from classical art to encyclopedias.

Over the long-term your funding will go to new equipment, upgrades, and developing new multimedia. Check below for more details.

1. Research, reports, and multi-media
(Some of this stuff takes time. Funding frees me up to do more research and create better content faster: news stories, articles, academic papers, photo albums and essays, videos, etc.)
2. Field work
(General field work expenses: travel, room, etc.; informants and translators)
3. Equipment
(sturdier tripods, stabilizer, replace dying cameras)


Q: Got any links?
A: Of course I do! Aside from the social media pages listed on this page, I also have a portfolio of some of my articles on Torial. They range from archaeology and history to elections and protests. Check them out here:

Q: What's "Grassroots Heritage?"
A: That's the name of a book project I've been working on since 2018 (or 2015... depending on how you count it). It's a photography-centric book related to Taiwan's demolition of heritage cemeteries as part of city development policy. Long story, but it's kind of my "flagship" project. I couldn't come up with a better idea for a Patreon name.

Q: What kind of content are you creating? What can I expect to see?
A: There's a variety of content coming from this project, though it all has a society, anthropology, society, and/or physical sciences aspect to it, linking more than one issue together. Expect to see...
  • current events articles (exploring social nuance)
  • culture and history articles
  • academic papers relating to anthropology, field work, and political economy
  • photography from the field site
  • videos from the field site
  • video commentary
  • & updates!

Q: What is your PhD research?
A: For my dissertation I'm studying land god shrines, earth worship practices, and their relation to burial and communities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. The work involves time-mapping and cataloguing artifacts and motifs. This work by extension takes me out of Taiwan and into other communities. More broadly, the nature of this research means I've been investigating cosmological practices (beliefs, structures, practices, heritage, etc.) of related and seemingly unrelated cultures.

Q: Where are you doing your research?
A: For now, Asia and North America. But ideally everywhere. There's always something somewhere. I'm based in Taipei, so a lot of my articles and research so far have focused on Taiwan, Chinese culture, and Southeast Asia. That's not to say I don't have projects relating to other locations.

(... more to be added as questions arise!)

Recent posts by James

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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 1 exclusive post