All posts tagged: individuality

Portrait of Humanity: Meet the photographer exploring a New African Identity

Sarah Waiswa is a Uganda-based documentary and portrait photographer, whose key interests are people and their stories. Much of her work focuses on identity, and explores themes surrounding isolation and belonging in her native Africa. In particular, she is concerned with documenting what she calls the New African Identity – a term she coined to describe a new era of cultural freedom on the continent – and what this might mean for Africa’s future. Born during Idi Amin’s dictatorship in Kenya, Waiswa and her family were forced to flee to Uganda shortly after her birth. This formative experience has affected both Waiswa’s worldview, and her photographic aims; exploring her connection to place is still a central theme in much of her work. Waiswa’s photographs are pioneering in the way that they illustrate social issues in Africa in a contemporary and non-traditional way. She focuses on every aspect of African culture; from religion, to the isolation of people with albinism. Through her work, Waiswa has reclaimed her narrative; she is able to document Africa from an …

2018-11-05T10:27:23+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: “I wanted to rethink the way we photographed migration”

Chris Steele-Perkins began The New Londoners four years ago, a project reflecting the individuality, community and unity of Londoners today. “The idea behind it was to think of a different way to photograph migration,” he explains. “Migrations have always been photographed very extensively in a dramatic, photojournalist sense, but I wanted to change that.” The project encompasses portraits of families from over 180 countries across the globe, who have all settled in London. Before it’s culmination into a book in Spring 2019, Steele-Perkins hopes to photograph 20 more. “It’s one of those projects that could go on forever,” he says, “But I have to draw the line somewhere.” He chose London as the setting for the series because, in his own words, “London is leading the way as a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural city.” Home to people from every nation on the planet, there are currently around 200 nations listed in the city, according to the UN, making London the most ethnically diverse place in the world. This push to globalisation has occurred over the last 20 …

2018-10-19T17:18:43+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: Punk, Love and Kindness

Food Not Bombs is a 30-year-old global movement. Initially based in Massachusetts, US, the grassroots organisation has now spread worldwide, working to unite and care for people by feeding them, and maintaining an ethos of anti-poverty and non-violence. In recent years, the Yangon, Myanmar sector of the Food Not Bombs movement has become well-known. Mohawked, black-clad and silver-studded, the group spends their time recording and performing punk music, and caring for Yangon’s homeless community. Recently, they have also developed plans to set up a school for children living in the city’s slums. Nico Djavanshir’s series Punk, Love and Kindness follows Yangon’s punks through their daily lives, in the hopes that his work can shed light on their own. The series combines our shared values of individuality, community and unity, and embodies the aims of Portrait of Humanity; we see the subjects with their families, singing into microphones, teaching groups of smiling children, and sometimes campaigning for the Food Not Bombs movement. “I wanted to take positive images,” says Djavanshir. “We’re used to seeing tragic work …

2018-10-11T17:23:01+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: Richard Renaldi on the glue that binds us all together

Richard Renaldi’s photography career began with a passion for drawing. But, when his high school drawing class was full, he took photography instead; the rest is history. The medium has since become one of the great loves of his life and his vast archives have culminated in his most recent project: I Want Your Love. This new work charts the many challenges and triumphs of his life and is, in many ways, an extensive self-portrait. Having always been interested in the humanist elements of photography, Renaldi’s  earlier work is rooted in portraiture, and his desire to document the many facets of American society. His project, Touching Strangers, has become symbolic of our potential to get along, and involved Renaldi asking strangers to interact with each other physically while posing together for a portrait. We spoke to Renaldi about where the idea for this project came from, the value of this unique interaction, and how far photography can go to unify us all. Where did the idea for Touching Strangers come from? I was always interested …

2018-10-04T13:42:58+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: Veronica Sanchis Bencomo, founder of Foto Feminas, on the power of community

Meet Veronica Sanchis Bencomo, the woman behind Foto Feminas, a platform dedicated to improving the representation of female Latin American and Caribbean photographers across the globe. Growing up in Venezuela, Bencomo was always interested in Latin American photography, and particularly, in photographs by her female peers. But on moving to the UK, where she studied photography at Brighton City College, and then photojournalism at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Swansea, Bencomo noticed that none of these photographers had followed her across the Atlantic. Representation is everything, and throughout time, it has been notoriously difficult to penetrate the fields of art, music, and literature as a woman. Even more so if you are not from the West. For many years, Bencomo felt that the Latin American continent was too often portrayed by foreigners, and by men. “From a young age I did notice it was difficult to come across women’s works from Latin America and the Caribbean,” she says. “With Foto Feminas, my main motivation was for people to learn more about a contemporary …

2018-10-04T13:43:38+00:00

Individuality, Community, and Unity: Introducing Portrait of Humanity

As our next evolutionary step following Portrait of Britain, we are pleased to announce a global exhibition, together with Magnum Photos: Portrait of Humanity. The aim of this new initiative is to create one of the most far-reaching collaborative photography exhibitions in history. We launched Portrait of Britain two years ago, as a way to combat the divisions created by Brexit, and to build a body of work reflecting our diverse and united nation. And now, as we prepare to celebrate Portrait of Britain’s first ever book launch, we are introducing an international project to overcome our differences, transcend borders, and connect as a global community through the power of photography. “Portrait of Britain has been a phenomenon – a celebration of British culture and diversity, seen by millions of people and growing to become the most viewed photographic exhibition ever,” says Marc Hartog, CEO of 1854 Media. “Our mission now is to expand this to a global platform. Portrait of Humanity is essentially the same concept but on a global scale, asking photographers to …

2018-10-04T14:21:50+00:00

BJP Staff