Xavier Ribas' work explores notions of practice and experience of space, the relationship between centre and periphery, the built and the unbuilt environment, and the contemporary fragmentation of landscape. Ribas' documentary photographic practice embraces cross-disciplinary approaches to research.
Trained as an anthropologist interested in geography, microhistory and the philosophy of history, his work is also informed by former professional experience in the fields of urban planning and architecture. His large photographic grids, often including text, archive materials and moving image, investigate histories and geographies of abandonment, contested sites and objects, temporary settlements, spaces of urban corporate development and exclusion, border territories, and geographies of extraction.
He is the Principal Investigator of the AHRC funded research project Traces of Nitrate: Mining History and Photography Between Britain and Chile, developed at the University of Brighton in collaboration with historian Louise Purbrick (Co-Investigator) and Ignacio Acosta (completed PhD in 2016).