“It was also about reshaping that American icon: everyone thinks of the cowboy as this white American hero who has come to slay Native Americans. Actually the word cowboy is a racist term. It comes from when slave masters called all their slaves ‘boys’ and so the cow boy was the boy who looked after the cows and the horse boy was the boy who looked after the horses.” Cian Oba-Smith journeys to Philadelphia at a politically charged time during the 2016 U.S. election to meet with an infamous group of horsemen dealing with this ingrained racism on a daily basis.
“The floor is covered with the plastic ammunition from the session that ended before I went in, one of the obstacles in the darkened corridor has a print out of a zombie figure used as target practice. The pillar has a splash of red paint to suggest blood.” Joe Pettet-Smith has gained access to a zombie apocalypse experience centre, where our fascination with the end of the world becomes a reality. What would you do if you were the last survivor?
“I could picture myself as this little girl. The photograph has a reminder of the escape into a childish world, full of power and imagination and carelessness. You would not lie down next to the buffet during the party as an adult unless you are not sober.” Natalia Poniatowska’s entry to the BJP Breakthrough Awards 2017 is an outtake from a wedding renewal ceremony, which was taken quite by accident whilst the photographer was looking at lighting in the room. The image shows loneliness but also the power of children’s imagination.
“Most people I meet are not satiated or fulfilled and desire more. Desire to be heard. Desire to be seen. Desire to connect and matter,” says Phyllis B. Dooney, the American photographer behind the photoseries Gravity is Stronger Here. The project, which started as an exploration of the American South, centres on a Greenville family trying to negotiate life in middle America. Their needs and wants are the same as those across the country: to be heard, to be seen, to be accepted.
The winners of the third BJP Breakthrough Awards will showcase their work in a special exhibition in East London
“A good project could be one of many different things,” says Vivienne Gamble, director at Seen Fifteen Gallery and Peckham 24. “Sometimes it will be the story that the photographer is telling that sets their project apart. The storytelling power of photography is one of the reasons that I’m most drawn to the medium. “I’m drawn to experimental projects, and to artists who are playing with or pushing the boundaries of photography,” she continues. “When it comes to choosing projects to show in the gallery, I look for ones that are going to expand beyond the confines of the gallery walls.” Gamble is one of the judges for this year’s BJP Breakthrough Awards, along with Emma Lewis, assistant curator at Tate Modern, Diana Markosian, photographer at Magnum Photos; Emma Bowkett, director of photography at FT Weekend Magazine; Maisie Skidmore, online editor at AnOther; Juno Calypso, artist; Hayley Louisa Brown, founder and editor of BRICK magazine and Lisa Farrell, head of exhibitions and events at British Journal of Photography. Now in their third edition, there are …
We are pleased to introduce our judges for the inaugural BJP Breakthrough Awards, our prestigious photography award singularly capable of connecting the next generation of photographers with the established photography industry. The judges have been handpicked by the British Journal of Photography for their photographic expertise, industry influence and special interest in emerging talent. Joining the panel from the British Journal of Photography is Editorial Director Simon Bainbridge who has guided the magazine for the last 11 years, and our Online Editor Tom Seymour, formerly the film editor of i-D magazine, and a feature writer for The Guardian and Independent. BJP Projects Editor Gemma Padley, who writes on photography for The Telegraph and Photomonitor and will also be joining us. Also judging the entries are esteemed photographers Laura Pannack whose prizes and nominations include the World Press Photo, The Sony World Photography Awards, The Magenta Foundation and Lucies IPA, and Lewis Chaplin, co-founder of publishing house Fourteen Nineteen and creative studio Loose Joints. The panel is completed by photography curator Leo Scott, who has worked on exhibitions and projects with the likes of Nadav Kander and Rankin, and Sebastian …