All posts filed under: Documentary


Photographing Xhosa Shaman women in South Africa


Shaman-like healers who practice traditional medicine and worship the ancestors are influential figures in the community – but what fascinated Italian photographer Tommaso Fiscaletti wasn’t their power, but the contrast between that and their everyday lives. Fiscaletti has been based in Cape Town for the past two and a half years, and first set foot in the small township of Dunoon, in the west of the city, when he was introduced to the urban weavers who live there. The women invited him to come to learn about their designs, but Fiscaletti was struck by the duality of the spiritual and the domestic that shape their lives. He had soon embarked upon a six-month project photographing them, taking shots he’s titled Between Home and Wisdom. “On the one hand, they are leading figures for the community and the family and on the other, they’re devoted to the cult of the ancestors and spend a lot of time alone,” Fiscaletti says. “What attracted me the most was the energy of these women in everyday life, in the …


SERBIA. Horgos. 2015. Mohammed stands while Ali and Sidra play at a campground near the closed Serbian-Hungarian border after they made a rapid dash through Macedonia and Serbia.  The border has closed at midnight that day, but Mohammed and the group hoped that it would be opened.  It quickly became clear that it wouldn't reopen and the next morning they left for Croatia.

Peter van Agtmael Revisits Ten Years of Photographing the Wars of Iraq and Afghanistan

Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael was already taking a very personal approach to photographing the European migration crisis when the agency started work on its major group project – photographing one family as they fled from Syria to Northern Europe. Diane Smyth finds out more about the story, how it was made, and what the photographer hopes it can do.



Demolition: What lies behind the walls of the Brutalist landmark estate

For some, it is an iconic example of 1970s Brutalist architecture; for others, a big, ugly eyesore. “Whatever they think, there’s a huge sense of community here,” says photographer Kois Miah of Robin Hood Gardens, a housing estate comprised of two blocks containing 213 flats, soon to be demolished and replaced by a new build. In light of this, and because of the sheer volume of tenants that will have to be relocated – some against their will from the only home they have every known – local Miah and his friend and partner Nick Thoburn, together with the support of the campaign group SPLASH (South Poplar & Limehouse Action for Secure Housing) visited the affected families, and immortalised some of their last moments in the apartments in intimate portraits. “There has been a lot of talk about the Brutalist architecture, but I thought it might be quite interesting to get the residents’ perspective on living on that estate,” says Miah. “The thing about this project is that it’s really intimate – people invite you into their …


Programme Name: Exodus: Our Journey to Europe - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. Generics) - Picture Shows: Refugees climbing a fence at the Eurotunnel in Calais.  - (C) Gus Palmer / KEO Films - Photographer: Gus Palmer

Breaking Into Europe From a Refugee’s Perspective

In 2015, KEO Films gave cameraphones to migrants and refugees, following their journeys over thousands of miles and across a total of 26 countries. By filming their journeys, the refugees show us places nowhere else could go. What emerges is a portrait of Biblical proportions, of the biggest movement of people since the Second World War. Last year, Europe was subject to the largest movement of people since the Second World War. More than 920,000 migrants are estimated to have travelled to Europe by sea alone in 2015, according to the International Organisation for Migration. More than 800,000 came from the civil wars of the Middle East, through Turkey, and into the rich heart of Europe. Others fled the wars and famine that define parts of sub-Saharan Africa, taking boats from Libya and Egypt, across the Mediterranean to Greece, Sicily and Italy. The terrible human cost of such treacherous journeys started to become apparent. On our news channels, we became inured to footage, week by week, of inflatable dinghies perilously packed with people and controlled …



Photographing Stage Four Hodgkins Lymphoma

The dichotomy between documenting and experiencing an event is a predicament faced by even the most established photographer, the continual dilemma of where to draw the line – when to shoot, and when to put the camera down. This dilemma however, came early on in 20 year old photographer Johnny Griffiths’ career. On the 13th April 2015, his partner Hannah was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkins Lymphoma. “The hardest thing was to find that balance between being a documentarian and being a boyfriend,” says Griffiths. “I had to keep reminding myself what the actual importance of it was.” His series It’s Cancer, follows the unpredictable summer the couple faced as Hannah carried out her treatment. Within weeks of Hannah’s diagnosis, the couple had returned to her home in Reading to begin a six month course of chemotherapy. “We were just being normal 20 year olds, having a good time and then it just kind of happened quite out of the blue. Hannah went to Berlin for her 20th birthday and on the flight back she …


Osman Omar, who says he will run for president of Somalia for the second time in 2016, wraps himself in an American flag while preparing for a community dinner to break the fast at sundown during the holy month of Ramadan. The event drew dozens of people, including Somali community leaders and the Minnesota state auditor Rebecca Otto © Arthur Nazaryan

Portraits of the 30,000 Somali Diaspora in Minneapolis, America

In the early 1990s, when the world watched TV footage of a Somalia once again devastated by recurring famine, the United States started taking in refugees as part of an international humanitarian relief effort. Many settled in Minneapolis, where they soon found jobs and integrated into the wider Minnesota community.


BJP Staff