Annual Report

Tax havens have quietly taken the world by storm. More than half of world trade now passes through these places. They are in the news every day, and are fast becoming a constant fixture of the political debate.

The growing flow of articles and reports on this poorly understood subject are usually illustrated with images of palm-fringed tropical beaches.

We have produced a body of work that shows what these places look like, but, even more importantly, what they mean.

Is that what tax havens really look like? From Delaware to Jersey; from Singapore to Panama; from the British Virgin Islands to the City of London, passing through Cayman, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, we take you on a tour into a rarely seen, secretive world that is quite different from what you imagine.

For more then two years we have travelled to the offshore centers that embody tax avoidance, secrecy, offshore banking and extreme wealth, driven by a constant obsession with translating this rather immaterial subject into images. We have produced a body of work that shows what these places look like, but, even more importantly, what they mean.

It has been estimated that as much as $32 trillion are sheltered in tax havens worldwide, largely out of sight. That is 13 times the GDP of the United Kingdom. Much of this money is stashed offshore by very wealthy individuals. But a growing share is owned by companies that use tax havens, often legally, to escape financial regulations or to reduce their taxes, draining the resources countries can spend on education, health care and security.

Tax havens are not an exotic tropical eccentricity, but have become a structural instrument of the globalized economy. They confront us with fundamental moral issues, involving the relationships between public and private; between companies and states; and between the haves and the have-nots.

We have conceived the resulting book as the self-congratulatory annual report of a successful company, borrowing the photographic tropes and language of the world we have investigated. The company, aptly named “The Heavens”, actually exists, and we have incorporated it in Delaware, where for a small fee – with no documents required or questions asked – an LLC can be formed in less then 20 minutes. “The Heavens” is now based in the same Delaware office as Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Google, Wal-Mart and 285,000 other businesses.

Tax havens have become a structural instrument of the globalized economy.

The book, in slip-cased hardback coffee table format, has more then 80 plates, and a text by Nicholas Shaxson, one of the most recognized experts in the field, that helps the reader decode the workings of tax havens and shows why we are all deeply affected.

Paolo Woods & Gabriele Galimberti



Paolo Woods was born of Canadian and Dutch parentage. He grew up in Italy, has lived in Paris and in Haiti. He is devoted to long-term projects that blend photography with investigative journalism. He has published five books, including “Chinafrica,” which deals with the spectacular rise of the Chinese in Africa. It has been translated into eleven languages and acclaimed as an exemplary melding of fine art and documentary photography. His work is regularly featured in major international publications. He has had solo exhibitions in more then a dozen countries and his pictures are in private and public collections. He has received a number of prizes, including two World Press Photo Awards.

Gabriele Galimberti was born in Italy and studied photography at Fondazione Studio Marangoni. He ran a professional photography studio and a gallery in Florence before becoming a full-time photographer doing both commercial work and personal documentary projects. He recently completed a 24-month trip around the world, during which he produced a number of extremely well-received bodies of work that have been featured in over 100 international publications. Three of his projects have become books published by Random House and Abrams and are now enjoying great success.


6 July/20 September 2015
Fotofestival  –  Germany
18 September/15 November 2015
East Wing Gallery  –  Dubai
October/November 2015
Onepercentshow  –  World
Jimei X Arles  –  China
November 15/December 16
15 September 2016 / 30 October 2016
25 August 2016 / 29 September 2016



Essay: Nicholas Shaxson
Design: Ramon Pez

Slip-cased hardback.
310mm x 246mm, 218 pages,
84 colour plates & extensive illustrations
A Dewi Lewis Media title 

ISBN: 978-1-905928-12-5



Essay: Nicholas Shaxson
Design: Ramon Pez

Slip-cased hardback.
310mm x 246mm, 218 pages,
84 colour plates & extensive illustrations
A Delpire title

ISBN: 978-2-85107-275-7



Gabriele Galimberti

Paolo Woods

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