“If we tell the story differently, we can instil viewers with a sense of urgency, or, at the very least, a curiosity about the subject of fracking”
Growing up, photographer Tom Roche learned about his Romani Gypsy heritage only through fragmentary stories and speculation. “My great, great uncle was stabbed in the heart with a wooden stake because he owed money for land,” says Roche, a recent University of the West of England graduate. “Then I had one aunt, aunt Liz, who used to pick crops, one aunt that made baskets, and another who sold pegs – or so I’m told; I don’t have any images, records, or concrete facts of my ancestors.”
“California is the land of plenty. People tend to see it through its clichés: Hollywood, the roaring success of Silicon Valley, boundless natural wonders and the ever-present palm tree,” writes photographer Ricardo Nagaoka. “However the Golden State is so much more than just its loudest components.” It is the quieter, arguably more unassuming side of the state that will be the focus of Meet California. The British Journal of Photography commission, run in partnership with Visit California, will see four photographers travel across California and each create a new body of work that explores a different facet of its identity. While the iconic landmarks of the state will no doubt feature, the photographers will also shed light on the daily occurrences and extraordinary realities that give California its distinctive character. The winning photographers – Ricardo Nagaoka, Francesca Allen, Clément Chapillon and Kristen Dobbin – will fly to San Francisco on 05 September and spend 10 days travelling across California as a group. The trip will be split into two chapters – northern and southern California …
An exclusive British Journal of Photography commission will give one photographer £5,000 to investigate fracking in the UK. With only four days left to enter, we share a selection of the strongest entries to date
The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project explored the state of Pennsylvania capturing the myriad effects of fracking on environments and communities throughout it
The Melbourne-based photographer traversed Egypt investigating the demise of its tourist industry in the aftermath of the Arab Spring
For a photographer, the state of California is a wonderland. Its sheer diversity presents endless opportunity and inspiration. There are few places in the world that offer the vibrancy of its iconic cities – serving as global centres for art, entertainment and technology – and the beauty and tranquility of its Pacific coastline, sprawling redwood forests, vast deserts and towering mountain ranges. British Journal of Photography has teamed up with Visit California, the state’s official tourism board, to launch a brand new competition: Meet California. This September, four winning photographers will be flown to the Golden State where they will embark on a 10-day photography commission. During their time in California, each competition winner will produce a new body of work that responds to their experience traversing the vast and diverse destination. Steering clear of generic picture-perfect travel photography, each body of work should delve beneath the surface of California and reveal the daily occurrences and unexpected nuances, as well as the people and places, which give America’s Golden State its distinctive character. The road trip …
In 2016, Chloe Dewe Mathews was invited to do an artist’s residency at the Verbier 3-D Foundation in the Val de Bagnes, Switzerland. The chosen theme was the so-called ‘Year Without a Summer’ of 1816, which followed the eruption of Mount Tambora volcano in Indonesia. The eruption, which emitted a vast cloud of ash blocking sunlight across much of the world, caused temperatures to plummet, the dramatic weather changes leading to crop failure, starvation and mass migration. Two centuries later, while researching the area’s history, Dewe Mathews came across the story of a local disaster that happened because of these weather changes. Between 1816 and 1818 the Giétroz Glacier built up to form a great dam of ice, which then burst its banks and tore up the valley below, leaving a trail of destruction all the way to Lake Geneva. She went on to discover that Mary Shelley had also been in the area during that summer-less year, staying on the shores of Lake Geneva with her husband Percy Bysshe and fellow Romantic poets Lord …
“Tish believed that photography was an important form of visual communication that could stimulate discussions about real life situations and captured accurate records of the world we live in. She was trying to force people to look at the truth and learn from it,” explains Ella Murtha, the daughter of the documentary photographer. In honour of her mother’s memory, Ella has put together a new photobook, Youth Unemployment, which gathers Tish Murtha’s work photographing poverty-ridden communities in Newcastle in the 70s and 80s. Raw, powerful and emotional, Murtha has captured youngsters trying to survive turbulent economic times, when they had limited prospects – something which has recently come full circle as a new generation has had to deal with the global financial crisis.
Indian photographer Arko Datto (b.1986) completed two masters degrees in theoretical physics and mathematics before deciding to take a “leap of faith into photography”. After studying photography at the Danish School of Journalism in Aarhus, his long-term projects have since been published in leading international publications, such as TIME and National Geographic. For PIK-NIK, Datto spent the last five winter seasons photographing picnic spots across eastern India, primarily in West Bengal but also in Jharkhand and Orissa. Here, families and colleagues converge for a day of food, drink and revelry before departing at sunset, leaving piles of rubbish in their wake. “Vats of freshly slaughtered chicken, sacks of vegetables and an arsenal of pots, pans and gas cylinders are lugged along, taking cooking en plein air to a whole new level,” says Datto.