From New Agers to Planet Yorkshire, BJP has this month turned its focus on the photographers who have spent their lives making visual that most important and intangible of things - the idea of community. It's available to pre-order now.
This issue is all about photographing community, featuring work captured over decades, from Peter Mitchell’s Planet Yorkshire to Chris Dorley-Brown’s East End archive, as well as CJ Clarke’s project on his Essex home town and Victoria Hely-Hutchinson’s account of life in Britain’s elite public schools.
We also present two very different communities photographed by Klaus Pichler, focused on hard-core drinkers and New Agers – a community of people obsessed with esotericism.
In Projects, we have two contrasting takes on the political process in the lead up to the US elections.
In Intelligence, we talk to Ali Taptik about the challenges of capturing an unfamiliar city, as the recipient of the first Elliott Erwitt Havana 7 Fellowship, and we tell the story of how a simple act of humanity turned into a wide-ranging portrait project that got backing from UNHCR.
Plus, we have interviews with French curator Clément Chéroux, XL Recordings’ creative director Phil Lee, a preview of Paris Photo and reviews of the Pentax K-1 and a remarkable 12mm superwide.
Editor Simon Bainbridge writes: “There’s no hurrying Peter Mitchell or Chris Dorley-Brown, who without hype or fanfare have quietly created profoundly impressive bodies of work made over years and decades in response to the communities they live.
“In the case of Mitchell, whose work first surfaced in the early 1970s in one of the earliest exhibitions devoted to colour documentary by a British photographer, his subsequent obscurity is a badge of honour. Dorley-Brown, meanwhile, has continued over 30 years with little recognition, recording the changing face of the East End of London. And nor does he expect any. “I’m probably taking pictures for people who haven’t been born yet,” he says. “I don’t think they’re going to come into their own for maybe another 30 or 40 years.”
“Cocooned in their sense of purpose, their photography defies easy categorisation, and their slow photography approach is evident in the work of others elsewhere in this issue. CJ Clarke’s 10-year project provides a more nuanced picture of his hometown, Basildon, than the easy Essex stereotypes. Victoria Hely-Hutchinson’s take on everyday life within Britain’s elite public schools, captured over eight years, is very much an insider’s account. And Klaus Pichler presents two very different aspects of Austrian society, captured in contrasting style and approach.
“In our Intelligence section we talk to Ali Taptik about the challenges of capturing a community in a fleeting two-week glance during his Elliott Erwitt Fellowship. And Aubrey Wade tells the story of how his portraits of German neighbours who have taken refugees into their homes became a much larger project, backed by the United Nations.”
Good things come to those that wait.
Pre-order the Community issue from the BJP shop.