"It was the worst mistake of my life just by using that first fucken 5ml. It was so beautiful, it was magic. I can't describe that feeling." - Warren (1969 - 2011)

The 'H; series documents the spiral of heroin addiction and its devastating consequences. It is about the dysfunction in out society that hides in plain sight. This series explores the realities of people living in the grips of this pandemic and highlights their inherent vulnerability, their characters and strength of will. Relegated to the peripheries of society, heroin users are often discounted because this addiction is commonly perceived as a self-inflicted 'disease of choice'.

Having formed relationships with the people that I have photographed over the years, I often find myself reflecting on Richard Avedon's Idea that "Portraits are more about [the photographer] than they are about the people... photographe[ed]. In this context, these photographs also demonstrate my own vulnerabilities and contradictions.

This work was produced as part of Market Photo Workshop's Incubator Program under the mentorship of Graeme Williams.

Chris Stamatiou [b 1976] is a professional photographer based in Pretoria, South Africa. His personal work explores concepts of marginalzation, time, change and urban habitation. His work has been in various group exhibtion in South Africa and Europe.