Although illegal drug use is a stigmatized activity, it is nonetheless highly visible. Drug users are presented and represented in very specific ways that reinforce their marginality. This book began with an introduction that foregrounded some taken-for-granted beliefs about how we come to understand drug users, their social identity and their collective political voice. At the same time as they are made visible (in film, photography and news media) this type of visibility centres on drug users being a furtive ‘hidden’ population (Fitzgerald, 1996). One particularly important medium that has reproduced this ‘hidden’ character of drug users is documentary photography.
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