The Afflicted Yard is an independent web project that was established in 1999 by Peter Dean Rickards (that’s me). The name was derived from a E-Mail handle that I used to solicit publications when I was a starving writer trapped in London in 1998. Just when I was about to give up and do something sensible, a guy named Michael Eboda (then the editor of the now defunct New Nation) responded to one of those emails and gave me a column called ‘Afflicted – The True Tales of a Yardie Troublemaker in London’.
I wrote about hammer attacks, fights on the tube, terrible jobs, my ruthless girlfriend, Jamaicans in the city and other things I did while living in an abandoned house in a vile hellhole called Plumstead. That column is where the whole thing came from.
Later when I returned to Kingston to begin a post-graduate degree, I decided to keep Afflicted going in the form of a website. From its inception, The Afflicted Yard was simply my particular view of Jamaica expressed through writing, photography, film and every now and then, some sort of public exhibition or stunt (ie: Public Stonings, L.A Lewis, street boxing in Denham Town, chopping down concrete walls, etc, etc). In the early days, the content of the site was basically a loose collection of articles that ranged from cartoons and memoirs to stories about traveling dead dogs, sex-crazed drunken tourists and the documentation of a wide variety of ‘incidents’ that were taking place in Jamaica at the time. It also had a notoriously unrestricted message board (which was dumped around 2003).
In 2002 the content of The Afflicted Yard took a sharp turn towards photography and I began to flood the site with imagery that has been called (among other things) sexist, racist, violent, profane and in at least one case ‘not very commercial.‘ Consequently, the reputation of The Afflicted Yard started to precede my own and I was often shocked to meet people (especially in foreign countries) who had been following my drivel since 1999 who thought I was affiliated with JLP gunmen.
There’s a lot more of course, but thats more or less how it started. If you really want more info you can read THIS. - PDR