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84 toothbrushes, collected 21 May, 15 September, 27 October and 28 October 2016 © Gideon Mendel

Gideon Mendel’s Dzhangal brings the Calais Jungle to life

Gideon Mendel’s new series Dzhangal is a portrait of the Calais Jungle, told through its abandoned objects. The title is an Afghan/Pakistani Pashto word meaning ‘This is the forest’, which became the colloquial name for the migrant camp, which existed until 26 October 2016. Mendel first went to the Jungle to teach photography with the University of East London’s Centre for Narrative Research, which was running courses and programmes for camp residents. He noticed a growing sense of antagonism towards photographers, with the refugees fearing that images would hinder rather than help their efforts to gain asylum, and looked to find a way of portraying them without identifying them. He decided to turn to their discarded possessions, collecting and recording what he found and bringing it back to London. “When I first came back with a whole bunch of bags full of what looked like random rubbish, my wife thought I’d completely lost the plot,” he laughs. “She thought I’d really gone mad, finally.” Some of this ‘random rubbish’ is now being housed at London’s Autograph ABP though, part of an …

2017-01-18T11:48:37+00:00

From the series White Noise Black Mirror © David Molina Gadea

Q&A: David Molina Gadea on his book project White Noise Black Mirror

Born in Tarragona, Spain in 1991, David Molina Gadea studied Arts at the Massana School from 2009 to 2012, and started to work with local newspapers shortly after graduating. In 2015 he did voluntary work in several centres for asylum seekers in Belgium, where he shot a series called The Long Way home, which was published in BJP’s September 2016 issue. He reached the final in Burn Magazine’s Emergent Photographer Fund, and recently joined the Portuguese agency 4SEE.  BJP: How would you describe your style? DMG: My work is documentary, so everything you see is what was truly going on. But when it comes to editing and sequencing the work, I try to build a less factual world where magic exists. That’s why some of the pictures are becoming more abstract, or I prefer to say ambiguous. I’m becoming less interested in depicting the world of facts, and more interested in poetry, in a kind of emotional territory. In the end it is just about documenting the world around me, but documenting the poetic and emotional …

2017-01-17T15:29:50+00:00

From 09 © Lina Scheynius

09 in Lina Scheynius’ ongoing series of photobooks

Lina Scheynius’ world is one of simple things. She drinks herbal teas and meditates, she enjoys going for walks and would like to own a cat. Her self-published photobooks are clean, white A5 volumes, the contents of which depict the small moments and details of her life – the delicate veins of flower petals, the burgundy flesh of a plum, the tip of a tongue. “I think it’s my favourite way to show the pictures,” she says of her books, “and also my favourite way to look at photographs. I don’t go to a lot of exhibitions, I look at pictures online, but really my favourite thing is to have the books, or to go to bookshops and look through them.” The Swedish photographer has compiled collections of her work since 2008, drawing on her archive of images shot over the last few decades. Now on her ninth publication, 09, her photobooks are thriving, usually quickly selling out. “I usually start with a few pictures that I’m interested in, three or four maybe, and then I …

2017-01-12T16:09:31+00:00

What a princess should wear, Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, 2013. From A Myth of Two Souls © Vasantha Yogananthan

Vasantha Yogananthan on his epic series, A Myth of Two Souls

When Vasantha Yogananthan was a child growing up in France his Sri Lankan father would tell him stories from the Hindu epic poem the Ramayana. Tales of heroism, filial duty and love full of magic, allegory and divinity, these stories were at the time just that – stories. But when Yogananthan first visited India in 2013, he came face-to-face with the pervasiveness of myth and legend on the subcontinent. In a land steeped in ancient history, folklore and veracity are deeply intertwined, and attempting to disentangle the two can be futile. Eventually, Yogananthan decided to stop trying. Historians and archaeologists estimate the composition of the Ramayana to the 4th century, and it is at once a foundation stone of Indian literature, one of Hinduism’s key texts, and a model for familial relationships. It follows the journey of Prince Rama, who travels the length of the country to get his wife, Sita, back when she is abducted by the demon Ravana. It’s a complex story, and its characters have become embodiments of virtue and honour in Indian society, but the story touches …

2017-01-12T12:34:33+00:00

Marli Heimann, All During an Hour, 1931/1932 by Josef Albers (1888-1976) © 2016 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Josef Albers’ little-known photocollages on show at MoMA

When Josef Albers died in 1976, the Bauhaus teacher was famous for his Homage to the Square series and his 1963 book Interaction of Color. Few knew that he had also been a modernist photographer, shooting with a hand-held Leica from 1928-32, and making a series of photocollages. When Albers and his wife, Anni, fled Nazi Germany for America in 1933, they could take only a few possessions. Anni’s father shipped over several boxes of their belongings the following year, but Albers’ Bauhaus photographs were not seen again until after his death, when Anni took Nicholas Fox Weber, executive director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, to a locked basement store near the Yale University Art Gallery. In 1988, the Museum of Modern Art hosted a modest show of 38 of the photographs. Now, four decades after their discovery, the entire collection of 70 photocollages have been published in a book – One and One Is Four: The Bauhaus Photocollages of Josef Albers – by MoMA. An exhibition of 16 of the works is on display …

2017-01-09T15:27:41+00:00

BJP Staff