All posts tagged: Documentary

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

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

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

Naoto Akimoto lived in a homeless shelter in poverty stricken Japan

Naoto Akimoto is featured as part of a BJP partnership with Magnum Photos after he came top-of-the-class in a Tokyo workshop with Bruce Gilden. Gilden hosted one of three workshops in collaboration with The Nippon Photography Institute in Shibuya, Tokyo. costing 150,000 yen (£843.71) for each participant, where he provided mentoring to develop students’ storytelling through daily shoots; with the aim of gathering a project by the end of the week. Gilden selected the final portfolio of Akimoto as the best – he won a Fujifilm camera, the Fuji X100T. “Initially Naoto showed me quite pedestrian documentary photographs that I think he took at a homeless shelter in Yokohama,” says Gilden. “I told him that I thought he had to get much closer. When he showed up two days later with new images from the same place, the class and I were astounded. “He had done a masterful job: he was much closer and had exposed the men’s souls. This, combined with his hard work and dedication – he was spending all night at the shelter – make quite …

2015-05-01T16:53:46+00:00

Last Stop

A battered old hatchback rolls up outside Folkestone Central station and George Georgiou – with a shy, blokey smile – leans over to pop the passenger door before driving me through the seaside town he now calls home. He sits in the driver’s seat as if he were in his armchair at home. For a long time, a car was the closest thing he had to a home. He has driven all over the world with his wife, photographer Vanessa Winship, covering thousands upon thousands of miles, travelling all over Turkey, the Balkans, Georgia and Ukraine for a decade, then across the US. It has been a long journey, motivated solely by his desire to tell people’s stories. “Welcome to my hotel,” he says in that distinctive north London accent. On the seafront, Georgiou leads me up the steps and into the heart of a grand, faded old building. It was indeed once a hotel, and the patterned carpets and ornate banisters remain. “It reminds me of The Shining a bit,” he says, with half …

2015-04-17T14:16:58+00:00

Mean streets

On 25 January Greece goes to the polls, for a snap election called when the parliament failed to select a new president at the end of 2014. It looks like Syriza, the far-left, anti-austerity party has the clear lead, and the outgoing prime minister, Antonis Samaras of the centre-right New Democracy party, has described the vote as a referendum on Europe. Whatever the outcome, the economic crisis of the last five years, and the austerity measures put in place in 2010 after the IMF/Eurozone’s €110 billion bailout loan, have radically changed the country. Greece has been in recession for six years and around 3.9m people – more than one third of the population – now live below the poverty line. At the peak of the crisis unemployment stood at 25%, rising to 60% among the young; now an estimated 50% of young people are unable to find work (figures taken from The Guardian’s report). These figures are comparable to America’s Great Depression of the 1930s and have left a visible mark on the landscape, as Georgios Makkas’ series The Archeology of Now shows. “Tens of …

2015-04-17T14:15:30+00:00

Abstraction of the real

Oliver Hartung’s images present a view of the Middle East that sometimes gets lost amid images of war and conflict. His are images that privilege found objects on urban streets, and subtly call to attention colourful street paraphernalia – posters, graffiti, statues, and murals – to show a quieter, more ordinary side of life in these troubled regions. Hartung’s recent book Iran, ein Kinderbuch, (images from which are shown in the above slideshow), was shortlisted for the 2014 Unseen Dummy Award in Amsterdam, and also for the Dummy Award Kassel 2014. [bjp_ad_slot] The book, whose titles translates as ‘Iran – A Children’s Book’, is a work-in-progress, he explains, which “examines the visual culture of Iran, and the result of (so far) three journeys to Iran between 2011 and 2012. It comprises images that have profane political or religious content, taken from propaganda, murals, war cemeteries and advertising, [and] is part of an ongoing personal long-term project on the Middle East, which I started in 2007.” When Hartung, a former freelance photographer for the New York Times, and current lecturer in photography at the Academy of …

2014-10-09T18:47:07+00:00

The sobering photography of Nick Hedges

Make Life Worth Living features 100 of British documentary photographer Nick Hedges’ images taken for the housing charity Shelter between 1968 and 1972. The exhibition, at the Science Museum’s Media Space in London, includes black-and-white vintage photographs printed in 1972, many of which transport the viewer into the domestic spaces of poverty-stricken families living in cities across the United Kingdom. [bjp_ad_slot] “It’s very hard to see past the myth of the ‘swinging sixties’”, Hedges tells BJP at the exhibition’s recent press launch. Sixties radicalism, however, had a significant influence on Hedges, and inspired him to pursue a career as a documentary photographer. The exhibition, which is on show until 18 January 2015, was co-curated by Greg Hobson, curator of photographs at the National Media Museum, alongside independent curator Hedy van Erp. Although donated to the NMM in 1983, Hedges’ images were rarely exhibited. The current show offers an opportunity to see the collection together for the first time. Previously, Hedges imposed a restriction on the images to protect the anonymity of the subjects. “We decided that …

2014-10-13T17:59:04+00:00

Personal truths from Huck

To mark its second documentary photography special issue, Huck magazine is holding an exhibition of images by some of today’s most talented photojournalists. Personal Truths is on show in east London from today (16 September) until 26 September, and includes work by photographers Guy Martin, Andrew McConnell, Matt Eich and Shannon Jensen, among others. The exhibition, which is part of the The Shoreditch Design Triangle, ponders the nature of documentary photography, and asks if it can ever be truly objective, or whether “all photography is a carefully framed, personalised version of the truth”. Championing the featured photographers’ personal perspectives by sharing the story behind the body of work that has had the greatest impact on their life, the exhibition seeks to “cut through the silence that often surrounds documentary photography… towards a deeper, more powerful truth”. Personal Truths is at 71a Leonard Street, London,  EC2A 4QS, until 26 September. There is a private view tonight (Tuesday 16 September), from 6-8pm. Please RSVP by clicking here. Stay up to date with stories such as this, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

2014-09-17T11:19:59+00:00

BJP Staff