All posts filed under: Exhibitions

Newsha Tavakolian, from the series Blank Pages of an Iranian photo album

Newsha Tavakolian: Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album

Newsha Tavakolian, the 33-year-old Iranian photographer and one of the newest members of Magnum Photos, was barely a teenager when her father took her from Tehran to Berlin. It was a family holiday with friends, and she remembers a night dancing with her childhood friend before they saw the Berlin wall. “How could people live behind a wall and not be allowed to leave?” she asked Hamila, who couldn’t imagine either. So they continued to dance. That family picture of the two of them, dancing their childish dance, acts as the requiem for Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album, the first photobook of Tavakolian’s almost 20-year career. A self-taught photographer, she was born in the midst of the Iranian revolution and the country’s bloody war with Iraq. From a job as a 16-year-old working on a now-defunct woman’s magazine in Tehran, to photographing the 1999 student uprising in Iran, the 2003 war in Iraq, and then ensuing conflicts in Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Pakistan, she now has a collection of photographs, and …


© Will Morgan

Exploring masculinity and mental health through the image

Last year, 4,623 men took their own lives in Britain. That works out to more than 12 deaths a day, and accounts for 76% of the total suicides in the UK in 2014. In fact, suicide is the biggest killer for men under 45 in the UK. These statistics, compiled by mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) are shocking in their clarity and sadly unsurprising in what can be learned from them. The predominant model of the alpha male; strong, stoic and unfeeling, still persists in popular culture and reinforces a concept of masculinity that is pervasive and insidious – one that doesn’t allow for anxiety, vulnerability or dialogue. In aid of CALM, five London-based photographers – Scarlet Page, Helena Berg, Jennifer Pattison, Will Morgan and Peter Guenzel – have put on ‘Alpha’ an exhibition that responds to masculinity and mental health. Each photographer interpreted a particular aspect of depression or the male emotional experience to create a complex body of work that begins a much-needed discussion.     Jennifer Pattison focused on …


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BJP & Magnum Photos: Professional Practice Workshops 2016


Led by leading Magnum photographers and industry professionals, the programme presents incredible training opportunities for early & mid-career photographers. Each workshop is a two-day photographic masterclass that focuses on demystifying the business of the industry, establishing a professional network of industry contacts, understanding the requirements of the market and identifying entry realistic routes into employment. The first day focuses on lectures from key speakers on specific areas of the photographic industry, giving behind the scenes tips and practical advice explaining how to work and succeed in their area of expertise. A second day of portfolio reviews lead by industry specialists will provide photographers with an honest, constructive and critique of existing work. Workshops will be held at the Magnum Print Room in east London. Each workshop is open to 40 applicants on a first come first served basis. WORKSHOP PROGRAMME Editorial photography How to succeed in the editorial market Sat 6 & Sun 7 February 2016 Photography and the art market How to get an exhibition and sell your work Sat 12 & Sun 13 …


Camopi, February 2015 © Christophe Gin for the Carmignac Foundation

Christophe Gin wins 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award

Christophe Gin has been awarded the 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award, winning a €50,000 grant for Colonie, his work ruminating on lawless areas in France. Created in 2009, the award has sponsored photojournalism in conflict zones and neglected regions; previous winners include Robin Hammond (featured in our latest Portrait issue) and recent Magnum Photos nominee Newsha Tavakolian. The award was mired in controversy last year, after Tavakolian contended that the foundation’s benefactor, French investment banker Edouard Carmignac began to interfere with with the presentation of her work to an “unacceptable” degree. The foundation disputed her remarks, claiming the postponing of her project was due to purported threats to the photographer’s safety, which it said Tavakolian reported. It would seem any acrimony has abated, however – Tavakolian’s work will be part of the Carmignac Foundation’s upcoming retrospective at Saatchi Gallery, London. It features 40 works produced since the award’s inception by all laureates – Kai Wiedenhöfer, Massimo Berruti, Robin Hammond, David Monteleone, Tavakolian and this year’s winner Christophe Gin. Colonie, Gin’s winning project delved into French Guiana, a region in …


Jo Spence’s iconoclastic self-portraits ridiculing outmoded gender stereotypes

‘It is essential that this important exhibition is seen by as many women as possible. To do this we need money – to make it fit to travel all over Britain. Please help and send donations to:- “The Hackney Flashers Collective” who took all the photographs and organised it.’ Written in red marker pen, the appeal appears on a poster made in 1975 by socialist-feminist collective The Hackney Flashers. With their travelling exhibitions, Jo Spence and other members created influential agitprop materials as a way of confronting social prejudices. Their black-and-white prints – of women at work in factories; female machinists hunched over sewing machines; a mother holding a saucepan over the stove and a baby on her hip – helped campaign for equal pay in the workplace and better childcare provisions. “They wanted to operate in society and not as part of the art world,” says Elena Crippa, who curated the retrospective of Jo Spence’s work at Tate Britain. Using the flash of the camera as a pun on the revealing nature of photography, The Hackney Flashers …


Five Girls 2014 by David Stewart © David Stewart

Winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 announced


David Stewart is this year’s winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 for his group portrait of his daughter and her friends. The National Portrait Gallery presented the £12,000 award to the London-based photographer last night at the awards ceremony. The winning portrait Five Girls 2014 depicts the distance between a seemingly close group of friends, and mirrors a photograph he took of them seven years ago, which was also displayed in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2008. Stewart says about the photograph: “I have always had a fascination with the way people interact – or, in this case, fail to interact, which inspired the photograph of this group of girls. While the girls are physically very close and their style and clothing highlight their membership of the same peer group, there is an element of distance between them.” Second prize has been awarded to Hector, Anoush Abrar’s photograph of a young boy, inspired by Caravaggio’s painting Sleeping Cupid; third prize has gone to Nyaueth, Peter Zelewski’s photograph of a woman …


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IPA 2016: Meet the judges


With days to go before the deadline to enter the International Photography Awards 2016, we spoke to three of the judges – Bruno Ceschel, Emily Graham and Diane Smyth – about what kind of work excites them and how getting your work seen is a career boost in itself. With decades of experience judging and curating photographic work between them, all three note the importance of presenting something new. BJP’s deputy editor Diane Smyth says: “I’m interested in seeing projects that present a new way of looking, something I haven’t seen before. I’m not necessarily stuck on innovation, but when looking at a lot of work in a short space of time, you definitely notice trends and zeitgeists running through the mass of projects. That means that the people who do something different, something more individual, really stand out.” Bruno Ceschel, writer, curator, publisher and founder of Self Publish, Be Happy agrees. “I hope to see things that are unexpected, this competition is a chance to see what you don’t normally come across because you …


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Frantz Fanon’s psychology of race, in photographs

In 2015, the cross-pollination of races occurs freely and globally. Yet it is easy to overlook the complex process of identification that a mixed-race person must confront. For in each race’s DNA is a history, culture and psychology that are all too-often defined in isolation. In his most recent series, Frantz Fanon, which tracks the life of the iconic 20th century thinker, Bruno Boudjelal has continued his career tradition of using photography to untangle the rich web of his own mixed identity. Frantz Fanon is widely regarded as the definitive post-colonial theorist. Born in Martinique, he traveled to France to fight in the Second World War before settling in North Africa, working as a psychiatrist in a small town, Blida, 50 miles from the Algerian capital. It was here, in the years leading up to both its release and Fanon’s death in 1961, that he wrote his chilling account of the psychological effects of colonialism and decolonization on the native Algerian population, Les Damnés de la Terre – ‘The Wretched of the Earth.’   “For …


Still from the film Pumzi, 2009, written & directed by Wanuri Kahui

The Malian festival celebrating the diversity and vitality of African photography

Bamako Encounters, set up primarily to showcase African photography, had to wait a long time to celebrate its tenth edition. The festivities were initially scheduled for autumn 2013 – 20 years after French photographer Françoise Huguier began the initiative in the Malian capital. But in January 2012, insurgent groups began fighting for the independence of the Azawad region. Within two months, President Amadou Toumani Touré had been ousted but the rebels splintered as soon as they had declared victory. Islamist factions prevailed, imposing strict Sharia law in the region. Unable to bring the conflict to an end on its own, the Malian government called for foreign military support. France, once the colonial power, controversially got involved. Its forces rapidly regained control but guerilla attacks continued for months before a first peace deal was signed in June 2013. That agreement didn’t last but a fragile new accord was signed in June this year. The unrest prevented the Bamako Encounters team from staging the event, but this year they decided to take advantage of what looks like a more enduring …


Evangelical Church, North London © Ian Berry/Magnum

How England has changed over forty years, by Magnum’s Ian Berry

“Photography is not an intellectual pursuit. It’s about becoming a hunter – getting yourself into the right place at the right time,” says Ian Berry. A member of Magnum Photos since 1962, Ian Berry knows what he’s talking about. He’s worked as a photojournalist in Vietnam, Israel, China, Ireland, Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union (to name but a few). But he’s perhaps most famous for his documentation of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in apartheid South Africa, his photographic work the evidence used in the trial that eventually proved the victims’ innocence. His current exhibition, The English at the Lucy Bell Gallery in Hastings on England’s south coast, hits a little closer to home. Mostly taken in 1975, Berry conceived of the project as “a personal exploration of English life”. To that end, he travelled the length and breadth of the country photographing young and old, rich and poor, city and country, home and work. Seen here, in 2015, the collection stands as a vivid time capsule, some aspects familiar, some very alien. BJP spoke to Ian about …


BJP Staff