This photographer turned spam emails into art

If you’re at all influenced by emotional blackmail and have ever almost been convinced that a Nigerian prince really will give you a share of his fortune if you just let him borrow your bank account for 24 hours, you might want to avoid this exhibition that brings junk emails poignantly to life.

Instead of consigning her spam to the trash and clicking ‘delete forever’, Spanish photojournalist Cristina de Middel decided to read the heartrending yet made-up messages she’d been sent. Then she imagined what the senders’ lives might be like if the messages were real, and recreated those scenarios using actors and sets for a series she calls Poly-Spam.

They include a poor Russian widow whose in-laws want to kill her, a bank employee offering $18 million from a former government minister’s account, a British orphan looking for a husband, a businesswoman with a few hours to live, and a lawyer from, yep, Nigeria. (You can see the full set via Mashable).

For a second or two, the photos do make you wonder if every single one of the 130 billion spam emails sent every day is a complete and utter fake. But then you remind yourself that people on the internet can be terrible, and that you should never give them your money.

Image via Pete’s Flickr.

Diane Shipley