Month: May 2016

The Post-Apartheid State of South Africa

Mohau Modisakeng, one of the most promising young South African artists today, was born in Soweto, Johannesburg in 1986 and lives and works between Johannesburg and Cape Town. He studied at Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town. In 2016 he was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art, the most prestigious award in Africa. His new work’s title, Bophirima, is from the artist’s mother tongue Setswana, meaning ‘West’ or ‘where the sun sets’, but can also be interpreted as ‘twilight’ or ‘before dusk’. The series reflects on his own personal experiences of growing up in Apartheid and Post-Apartheid South Africa, with central themes which revolve around violence, labour, security and ritual. Originally trained in sculpture, Modisakeng uses the technique of the self-portrait – through large-scale photographs, performance and video installations – to mediate on his own identity and the political processes within his country. The artist uses his body to explore the influence of South Africa’s violent history, allowing his body to represent a marker of collective history. Modisakeng says: “The real work for me is in relating …

2016-05-27T17:40:16+00:00

JAPAN. Hiroshima. September 8, 1945. Center of atomic bomb blast. Japanese soldier walks through site where army barracks once stood in the center of town.

Hiroshima: Centre of an Atomic Blast – in photographs

The United States remains the only country to have used atomic weapons outside of testing conditions. At least 140,000 people died in Hiroshima, the vast majority within minutes of the bomb detonating. Another 74,000 died three days later in a second bombing in Nagasaki. “Death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” Mr Obama said in a historic address at the city’s Peace Memorial Park. The bombing had shown that “mankind possessed the means to destroy itself,” he said. Mr Obama said the memory of Hiroshima must never fade: “It allows us to fight complacencies, fuels our moral imagination and allows us to change.” As Obama visits the city, Magnum photo agency have collated the photographers whom have documented how the city’s people have lived on in the years since those fateful days in August 1945, chronicling the bombing’s aftermath, recovery, and remembrance. Maybe the most significant of those photographers was the late American photojournalist Wayne Miller. In September 1945, only one month after the bombing of Hiroshima, Miller photographed the blast site, the …

2016-05-27T15:02:18+00:00

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Daniel Kramer’s Bob Dylan portraits of the artist as a young man

Daniel Kramer remembers vividly where he first encountered Bob Dylan. “He was doing a variety TV show hosted by Steve Allen. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – he was singing a song called ‘The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll’ – a long piece about a wanton murder, and about the pitiful way the justice system handled it – “So here was this young guy with just his guitar, and he was saying these powerful things that you have to be brave to say. Don’t forget we’re talking about 1964, so things were more difficult politically.” It was clear that Kramer, who developed his craft under the tutelage of Philipe Halsman and W. Eugene Smith, had the perfect subject in his sights. But it wouldn’t be easy: ’I didn’t realise it would take half a year to get permission, badgering his manager on a regular basis to get to photograph him.’ Eventually the badgering paid off, and Kramer spent the next two years following Dylan during 1964-65, shooting the performer in a variety of …

2016-05-27T14:36:32+00:00

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Your chance to invest in British Journal of Photography

BJP

A note from BJP… Some of you might have seen a few messages on our social media, or received a note from us about crowdfunding and the future of BJP. Don’t worry – it’s good news. We’re very excited to announce that British Journal of Photography are looking to raise at least £150,000 through equity crowdfunding. We’ve grown from a weekly trade journal to an international brand respected across the industry, encompassing magazines, events, digital initiatives and collaborative partnerships. We have ambitious plans for the future and want to better serve our global readership and with additional investment, we’re confident we’ll be able to do so. Crowdfunding has become mainstream recent years, and it’s the perfect way for us to allow our readers to participate in our growth. But this isn’t your average crowdfunding proposal – if you invest in BJP (starting from just £10), you’ll own a piece of the one of the oldest photographic institutions. The global appetite for photography has grown massively in recent years and we’ve grown with it, turning our …

2016-06-08T10:56:23+00:00

JA093_Jaber Al Azmeh, Nationalism 2, 2015, Printed on cotton rag fine art archival paper, 60x90 cm, Ed 1 of 5 + 2AP

Jaber Al Azmeh – Border-lines

Born in Damascus in 1973, Jaber Al Azmeh received his BFA in Visual Communications at Damascus University. His previous series previous series Wounds (2012) tackled the emotional ramifications of the uprising in Syria, and Ba’ath (2014) addressed the lack of freedom speech as the conflict unfolded, Border-lines takes on a more aerial perspective, exploring both the roots of global crisis and its implications by analysing the way modern architecture, much of it a legacy of war, have defined the landscapes of his region. There is a line that cuts through this latest body of work. It becomes apparent that the line is a compositional aspect – a curatorial instrument of the exhibition. In spite of the appearance of calmness and minimalism, there is an anger in these images. The show launches with an Orwellian feel – a cluster of photographs in barren deserts, all of which speak of consumerist, capitalist cultures, along with snapshots of global systems. Those images – of a gigantic, rusted billboard void of a message; row upon row of identical, seemingly socialist houses empty …

2016-05-26T17:48:47+00:00

Abandoned warship in the Kola Bay, Murmansk, Northwestern Region, January 2005

The 2016 IAFOR Documentary Photography Award calls for ‘Justice’ entries

BJP

In January 2015, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) announced the launch of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award – an award which seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. The theme of this year’s award is “justice”, launched “in the hope photographers will submit work that explores justice from a variety of perspectives.” The award partners with photography institutions including World Press Photo, University of the Arts London and British Journal of Photography, among others, and is judged by leading professionals in the field of documentary photography and photojournalism, including Founding Judge Paul Lowe (Panos Pictures/University of the Arts London), Ed Kashi (VII Photo Agency) and photographer Simon Roberts. Winners will be announced this summer at The European Conference on Media, Communication and Film, running from July 11 to July 14, 2016, in Brighton, England. The Grand Prize Winner will receive £1,000 cash award, acceptance into the Metro Imaging Mentorship Programme, and a nomination by World Press Photo for the Joop Swart Masterclass. The winner’s photography will be exhibited in the UK and …

2016-05-31T11:24:46+00:00

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How to Shoot the Perfect Portrait: Rosaline Shahnavaz

Portrait of Britain is inviting photographers to submit images that reflect the unique heritage and diversity of our country and show the face of modern Britain. 100 winning portraits will be selected for a public exhibition showcased nationwide in September 2016. We’re asking portrait photographers what goes into making the perfect portrait – this week we hear from London-based photographer Rosaline Shahnavaz.  In your view, what makes a compelling portrait? I think there are so many elements to a compelling portrait. It could be the pose, the expression, the colours, the lines, the eyes. But I think what is most important to me is when a photograph captures someone’s essence.     How do you connect with your subjects and gain their trust? Just like most relationships, trust is something that builds with time. When I edited my book Aleko, I had all my prints laid out in chronological order on my studio floor. It was fascinating to see the difference in my relationship with Aleko. There was a clear distance between us in the first photographs …

2016-07-20T10:59:11+00:00

© Christto & Andrew_Current Obssesion

Parataxic Distortion in Dubai

Doha-based artists Christto and Andrew forming their artistic union in 2012. In that time, they have worked across photography, mixed media and film, The partnership is motivated by the desire to create “strong statements [that] challenge stereotypes” surrounding their new home in the Gulf region, and the lifestyle associated with Dubai culture. They do this by producing “a stream of hyperrealism”, a sometimes conspicuous, garish use of portraiture, acerbic in its humour. “Traditional ideas about photography have been continually stretched with the advent of new tools and methodsin the industry, including widespread uses of appropriation and performance, paving the way for radical changes in how we conceive of this art form. Christto & Andrew are part of this artistic movement bent on toppling long-held structures,” the gallery said in a statement. The pair received international attention through their inclusion in Foam Magazine’s Talent Issue in 2014. “Parataxic Distortion is a fantasy of what something should be, an expectation growing out of the emotional stress of living, resulting in the generating of stereotypes; a pigeonholing of individuals to …

2016-05-25T17:14:28+00:00

Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Cité Soleil. 2015. The densely populated and violent Cité Soleil controlled by gangs is considered to be the most dangerous place of the western world. Absence of economic activity puts its residents below the already low poverty level of Haiti. Cité Soleil has a population of around 400,000 inabitants. Climate change and deforestation dramatically reduced the farmland in the Haitian countryside and led to emigrate into urban areas the environmental migrants with the consequently development of slums area such as Citè Soleil which is considered to be the poorest and most densely populated area in Haiti.

Environmental migration in Haiti a warning to the world – in photographs

Haiti is almost completely denuded of trees. According to the United Nations, the increasing frequency of drought, cyclones, hurricanes and floods will have an amplified impact in one of the most fragile environments already existent anywhere in the world. This isn’t just an issue of wildlife, fauna and flora. It’s an issue of humankind as well, for the vulnerability of the country to natural disasters has triggered waves of internal migration from rural to urban areas. In Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital and largest city, half of the residents were not born there. The city continues to serve as the main destination for thousands of environmental migrants every year. Last Illusion, a multi-chapter photography project depicting one of the main and overlooked consequences of climate change on human populations has just been launched by Alessandro Grassani, an Italian photojournalist repped by INSTITUTE. Haiti can be seen as a prosthetic microcosm for the future. Environmental migration is like an unexploded device: in the not too distant future, the entire planet will have to face the economic and social burden of …

2016-05-25T13:15:49+00:00

Dorothy Bohm, 'Rue Tholozé, Montmartre, 1954'

Unseen London, Paris, New York, 1930s-60s

Today, London, Paris and New York are so familiar that it is hard for a modern viewer to imagine them afresh without the visual expectations fostered by art, film and advertising in the digital age. Yet when each of these photographers arrived at their respective destinations, they found cities that were strange and new. They responded by photographing them without prejudice or expectation. The photographs reveal three cities defined, in many ways, by social division and political tension, but also capable of a unique and characterful beauty. The exhibition, Ben Uri Gallery and Museum began life as an Art Society founded by émigré Jews in Whitechapel’s ghetto in July 1915. , includes many works never previously exhibited in the UK, and each series presents an opportunity to view an aspect of the work of a renowned photographer in real depth. Wolfgang Suschitzky was born in Vienna in 1912 and arrived in London via Amsterdam in 1935, fleeing Nazi persecution. Suschitzky had trained as a photographer in his native Vienna and was already adept at both …

2016-05-25T11:27:39+00:00

BJP Staff