“It was also about reshaping that American icon: everyone thinks of the cowboy as this white American hero who has come to slay Native Americans. Actually the word cowboy is a racist term. It comes from when slave masters called all their slaves ‘boys’ and so the cow boy was the boy who looked after the cows and the horse boy was the boy who looked after the horses.” Cian Oba-Smith journeys to Philadelphia at a politically charged time during the 2016 U.S. election to meet with an infamous group of horsemen dealing with this ingrained racism on a daily basis.
The Portrait Issue returns this September just as The British Journal of Photography launches the return of Portrait of Britain, which will once again appear on digital JCDecaux screens across the country, in partnership with photography giant Nikon. Portraits have a rare capacity to capture a person, family and community in a way that reshapes a narrative or empowers an entire group of people. Each photoseries in this issue manages to shed new light on an individual or group and move beyond stereotypes to find a more honest truth – whether with a Roma group in the south of France, or a working class neighbourhood in The Netherlands.
Refugees and robots feature in the shortlisted images for this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, which is organised by the National Portrait Gallery.
Portrait of Britain returns for a second year with 100 more images that encapsulate life the length and breadth of the UK. From almost 8,000 entries this year, the final hundred will now be displayed in a digital exhibition across JCDecaux screens in shopping centres and commuter hubs around the country throughout September. In partnership with Nikon, the photography giant, Portrait of Britain aims to show the social and cultural diversity of people in the UK and showcase everyday citizens and unsung heroes in a gallery of the people, by the people, for the people. Simon Bainbridge, Editorial Director at the British Journal of Photography, was excited about the latest portraits for 2017, saying, “Collectively, the portraits celebrate the unique heritage and diversity of modern Britain, as much as its thriving photography culture and the myriad styles and approaches they employ in their work.”
“I have simply seen breastfeeding as an act of life and love that is not always an easy task, and that therefore is deserving of encouragement in its all dimensions, psychological, physical and social,” says Vincent Ferrané, whose photobook Milky Way is a testament to his wife and women everywhere as they begin their lives as mothers. The series focuses on breastfeeding, a natural act that can sometimes cause controversy when brought into the public sphere. Ferrané’s photobook hopes to move past that and reclaim the breast as an empowering part of the female body.
A young boy who became a French resistance fighter as just a teenager; a German fighter who lost an arm; a Kazakhstani field nurse; an Indian deployed to fight the Japanese in Burma; a Holocaust survivor who is today a Donald Trump supporter. Sasha Maslov’s photobook Veterans travels the world to meet with some of the last surviving servicemen and women of the Second World War, a conflict whose impact is still being felt some seven decades after the conflict finished.
“Breaking onto a dance floor with a large format camera and a portable photography studio, as in my case, paralyses everything that happens,” says Jesús Madriñán, a Spanish photographer whose nightlife photos document the 21st century youth in different communities across the world. He is looking for an unique authenticity from his participants: “For me that’s really interesting: it gives them the opportunity to express themselves in front of the camera and in front of the eyes of the others.”
Karen Paulina Biswell spent much of her upbringing in Paris, having moved there with her parents when barely a teen in the early 1990s to escape the political unrest and violent clashes plaguing her native Colombia. She now lives back in Colombia, and her provocative project on strong women is going on show at Les Rencontres d’Arles
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.
Walking down the street with Jack Davison can be time-consuming. A sharp-suited bloke talking on the phone, a pretty young girl in a hurry, a bored construction worker seated by the side of the road, a balding old soak nursing a pint; Davison approaches each without a moment’s hesitation. After introducing himself and chatting for a few seconds he’s circling round them, or leaning over them, or down on his knees, with his camera often inches from their face. He keeps talking to them throughout, framing quickly and firing off a few shots. He’s relaxed, composed in the moment, then gives a short thanks and he’s gone, walking down the street, briefly checking his new portrait. Davison turned up at BJP’s offices on a road bike that had seen much better days, sweating under the sun, wearing a baggy white t-shirt, denim shorts and a cycling helmet. He didn’t look like a fast-emerging photographer and, like any 24-year-old, is still trying to work stuff out, to get his head around the complexities of making a …