All posts tagged: Documentary

From the series “Mädchenland” © Karolin Klüppel, winner Portait category and Gold Award, Felix Schoeller Photo Award 2015

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

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

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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

Aly Gadiaga, Catania, Sicily, Italy, June 2015. Aly, 26, left Senegal and spent three years travelling to Libya, washing dishes in Mali and Burkina Faso in order to earn the money to board one of the dangerous convoys and cross the Sahara. Aly speaks Wolof (a language of Senegal), French, Italian and English fluently. He has lived in Catania for two years and has not yet received a work permit. Everyone in the market knows him as “Gucci”, a slang term for “good” or “all right”, because of his remarkably positive attitude. He has not seen his family for six years.
Images © John Radcliffe Studio.

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

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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

Patrick Willocq went from corporate multinationals to the DR Congo to photograph the land of his childhood

As a child, Patrick Willocq spent seven years in the Democratic Republic of Congo; with a camera given to him by his father, he recorded the people and places he encountered. In 2009, 27 years after leaving, he returned, and the trip proved a revelation. “I totally reconnected with myself,” he says. “My passion for photography revealed itself stronger than ever. This helped me face the fact that I was fundamentally not happy with my life.” Willocq had been working for corporate multinationals in Asia for nearly two decades, but he abandoned his successful career to resettle in DR Congo. “I feel at home in the remote villages among the locals,” he says. “I have always been struck by the beauty, simplicity and dignity of daily life there. I want to go beyond the images that stigmatise the nation; for instance, I wish to bear witness to the peace that prevails in the Western part of the country.” His first series, On the road from Bikoro to Bokonda, bears testimony to the everyday challenges faced by the Batwa …

2015-09-07T11:10:50+00:00

Transnistria Conglomerate © Anton Polyakov

Finalists revealed for top Boundaries prize at Zagreb’s Organ Vida photography festival

Organ Zida, the impressive new independent photography festival from Zagreb, Croatia,  has announced the ten finalists to compete in their main prize, orientated around the theme of Boundaries. Each of the finalist’s photography whose photography will be presented at the main festival exhibition, at the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb from the 3rd to the 18th September 2015. The exhibition is the central tenant of a diverse offering of photography from the only documentary photography festival in the Balkans. Sorting through over 300 projects from 47 countries was no small feat for the international panel of judges, consisting of photography heavyweights such as internationally-acclaimed photographer Roger Ballen, editor of Aperture magazine Michael Famighetti, Dutch photographer and publisher Rob Hornstra, Italian photographer and former World Press Photo winner Alessandro Imbriaco, British photographer Hannah Starkey and Croatian academic and photographer Sandra Vitaljić, as well as BJP editor Simon Bainbridge. Rob Hornstra says of the judging process: “The way the finalists distinguish themselves is because they go beyond registration and make a personal interpretation of theme they are working on. There is …

2015-09-02T12:53:34+00:00

The British fashion photographer equally at home in Preston and Paris

Effortlessly moving between documentary and fashion, editorial and commercial assignments, Jamie Hawkesworth is a photographer who is steadily making a name for himself. On the one hand, he is quite at home documenting passers-by in the grade II-listed Preston Bus Station, the future of which hangs in the balance, or photographing a British polo contest at Cowdray Park, as he did for Man About Town. On the other, he has shot campaigns for designers Céline and Marc Jacobs, and has been featured in magazines such as i-D and Paris Vogue. In light of this impressive CV, Hawkesworth’s ability to turn his hand to whatever comes his way seems to know no bounds. Self Publish Be Happy’s Bruno Ceschel, who nominated Hawkesworth for our One to Watch issue in January 2014, explains what drew him to the photographer’s work: “Jamie has this kind of romantic, street photography aesthetic. Stylistically, he’s the younger brother of photographer Alasdair McLellan, in terms of his interest in documentary aesthetics and a certain kind of casting. Jamie often photographs working-class teenagers, and in his personal work Alasdair photographed young …

2015-08-13T16:18:33+00:00

David Bailey © Chris Gravett

Hometown America: Chris Gravett’s undiscovered Arkansas

“I Googled myself, as you do, and accidently added an ‘e’ to the end of my name,” says 64-year-old recent graduate Chris Gravett. “The city of Gravette in northwest Arkansas came up. Wikipedia says it has a population of 2300 – 90% white, with 23 churches, in an area of four square miles. I thought it was such a bizarre demographic I wanted to know more.” And so began the making of Gravette The Heart of Hometown America, which is currently on exhibit at the Free Range Graduate Art and Design Show at The Old Truman Brewery in east London – a summer season of shows celebrating up-and-coming graduate talent in the fields of art, design, fashion, photography and architecture. Chris researched further and discovered that the city of Gravette was founded by a man named Ellis Tillman Gravett – without the ‘e’ – in 1893. A further ancestral search uncovered that Ellis Tillman was British, a settler originally from Steyling in Sussex, and that their ancestral lines cross in the early 16th century. Inspired …

2015-06-25T16:27:33+00:00

BJP Staff