This story appeared in the November issue of VICE magazine.
I've always been attracted to what happens after dark. Or perhaps, more accurately put, I'm addicted to it. I crave adventure. I spent almost two years in Kampala, Uganda's capital, documenting the city's eccentric nightlife for my book Fuck It, and then I set out for the countryside, where I started my nsenene (the Luganda word for Uganda's long-horned grasshopper) project. I became fascinated with the men who, under the cover of the night, illegally tap into power grids, using the lights to attract, and then capture, grasshoppers. Ugandans eat these insects—they're a delicacy—and during the rainy season, when they're out in abundance and easier to trap, the hunters sell them to locals.
Originally, I intended to shoot images of only the grasshoppers—I'd thought that I would come across huge swarms of them—but after moving around so often, and failing to discover what I had hoped to, I shifted my focus. The title of my work took on a new meaning, too. There weren't swarms of grasshoppers; the traps were often empty. With time to spare, I interviewed the trappers, and I learned about the business aspects of their chase, as well as the more mythical elements: what they think of these grasshoppers, and where they think the creatures come from—different planets, Lake Victoria, overseas. This project has been endlessly fascinating, and I have no intention of stopping soon. I'm continuing to photograph this phenomenon, and though I'm not sure what the final product will be, I hope it succeeds in presenting this way of life as both practical and magical: a risky gamble for the people trying to earn money in a country with widespread poverty, and a beautiful, almost heavenly showcase of lights against a rich and varied landscape.