All posts tagged: Documentary

Sian Davey’s intimate portraits of her daughters

A psychotherapist for 15 years, Sian Davey switched careers to photography in 2014 and has made a success of it – she’s now represented by Michael Hoppen Gallery, for example, and her book Looking for Alice was nominated for the Aperture Best Book Award at Paris Photo 2016, and the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Book Awards 2017.

2017-06-22T12:34:44+00:00

Wheelies, balaclavas and broken bones: welcome to UK BikeLife

A 13-day coma, four brain haemorrhages, a fractured cheekbone, a broken collarbone, a broken humerus, two collapsed lungs, several broken ribs, a cracked pelvis, a dislocated knee a shattered foot, an amputated toe and a splenectomy. After a near-fatal accident leaves you with this catalogue of injuries, you might consider a more gentle hobby than dirt biking. Not Izzy, one of the die-hard dirt bikers who features in Spencer Murphy’s new book, Urban Dirt Bikers, published by Hoxton Mini Press and launched today. “Izzy got back on [his bike] at the first opportunity – albeit with a newfound respect for safety. He continues to perform stunts and is one of the most controlled and skilled riders I’ve met. That kind of dedication, to me, demands respect,” says Murphy, whose series celebrates the prowess, passion and style of a secret and often stigmatised subculture. “People don’t look back on the career of Evil Knievel and think of him as a menace – nor do they of any extreme sports person that risks life and injury in …

2017-05-11T15:38:02+00:00

Is America great again? Peter Dench goes beyond the red, white and blue to document the “land of the free”.

Over the years he’s created a huge archive of images documenting ‘Britishness’, covering topics such as Brits abroad and alcohol consumption in England. Now Peter Dench has his sights set on America. In the summer of 2015, commissioned by Olympus, Dench travelled to Dallas to record his first instalment in documenting the daily life of the people who live there. He photographed everything from a bikini contest to Buddhist monks, baseball fans and Sunday worshippers, capturing in his images the essence of what it means to be American in the 21st century. He’s also photographed in Miami and San Francisco, all part of his quest “to challenge what I thought I knew of the country.” Dench, a pro photographer for more than 20 years, has long been fascinated by America. As a teenager in the 1980s he remembers how he “voraciously consumed the American soap operas Dallas and Baywatch”, and when he was studying photography he read books by Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Tony Ray-Jones. These photographers “alerted me to the fact …

2017-03-03T11:07:22+00:00

Kingdom of the Girls: The alternate reality where women rule the world

That world exists, if you know where to look. Berlin-based photographer Karolin Klüppel’s pictures of rare matriarchal communities in India and China – which won the 2015 Felix Schoeller Photo Award – invite us to do exactly that. Born in 1985, Klüppel developed an interest in alternatives to patriarchy while studying photography at the School of Art and Design in Kassel, where her final project deconstructed gender through soft, fragile portraits of the male nude. On graduating in 2013 she embarked on a self-financed trip to India, where she had a residency lined up with the Vice-Versa Foundation in Goa. Initially the plan was to stay half a year in India before heading to China, to photograph the Mosuo, a matriarchal society in the Himalayas, but she ended up spending nine months in Mawlynnong, a Khasi village in the State of Meghalaya, northeast India. The photographs she shot there became the portrait series Mädchenland (Kingdom of Girls), for which she won the prestigious 2015 Felix Schoeller Photo Award. Klüppel had read about the Khasi while …

2017-02-23T16:46:32+00:00

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 …

2017-03-06T12:28:20+00:00

A moment in time: An exploration of Cuba through the years

When documentary photographer Manuello Paganelli first landed in Cuba in 1988, he felt as if he had been transported back 20 years. “I saw Cuba as a black and white world,” he says, as he recalls how he stood out for the modern clothes he wore, and how the only cars visible on roads shattered by pot holes were sun-bleached Russian Moskovitz’s. “I thought I’d landed back in time, or like in scene out of the movie Twilight Zone, where strange things happen and are unresolved.” Paganelli, who is half Italian and half Cuban, travelled to the then largely commercially and photographically unexplored country to reconnect with lost relatives. He did so, but discovered that with each visit his curiosity for the Cuban way of life grew. Today, he has made over 60 trips. His new book, Cuba: A Personal Journey 1989-2015, is a collection of 115 black and white photographs, capturing the happenings of daily life of ordinary people during a time when having a bar of soap or a bottle of cooking oil was seen as a …

2016-10-21T15:14:51+00:00

Foreigner: Migration into Europe 2015-2016

On 13 and 19 April last year, two migrant boats capsized off the coast of Libya, with the loss of more than a thousand lives. Many of those who drowned were refugees, fleeing civil war, and therefore protected under the 1951 Refugee Convention, but their deaths won little sympathy on the pages of some of the UK’s biggest newspapers. On 17 April, The Sun columnist Katie Hopkins wrote an article comparing migrants to cockroaches or the norovirus, adding that Britain needed gunships, not rescue boats, to send them back. “No, I don’t care,” she wrote. “Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care.” As the so-called migrant crisis continued unabated, so too did the negative press. By July, the Daily Mail, Britain’s most-read newspaper brand and Hopkins’ new employer, was running headlines like “The ‘swarm’ on our streets”, calling for the army to go to the Jungle refugee camp in Calais. A year later, the Daily Express warned of …

2016-10-20T12:14:51+00:00

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 …

2016-09-21T12:03:48+00:00

BJP Staff