“I meet people with more empathy and more care towards one another in war situations or in conflict around the world than I have ever experienced in Europe. People want to share the little they have with me because I have talked to them and shown an interest in them,” says Jan Grarup. His work has taken him to the sites of the worst conflicts – from obvious examples such as Iraq and Iran, to forgotten areas like the Central African Republic. Each place he visits, he stays to learn about the culture and customs of the people before taking their photographs. In these places of despair and destruction, Grarup often finds hope and resilience. But the Western world needs to be more active and share the responsibility to help these regions return to a peaceful existence.
“The Face had a different theme every issue and were planning an issue on sex, so Graham Rounthwaite [the art director] said ‘Can you photograph in clubs and sixth form parties and get an idea of young kids’ idea of love?’”says Ewen Spencer. The feature became a regular spot, sometimes shot by Spencer and sometimes by another photographer, a writer going along each time to talk to the kids they found. But it became an ongoing interest for Spencer, who started to pursue it in his own time as well as on commission, and images from the series have now been published as a book by Stanley Barker
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.”
Nikolas Ventourakis hit on the idea for Defining Lines while shooting in Cyprus, not far from the Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas, two military sites under British jurisdiction. He’d taken a few shots on his iPhone and, when he uploaded them on to his laptop, discovered that some of the images had been geotagged United Kingdom and others Republic of Cyprus, despite being shot metres apart. It got him thinking about the notions of territory and borderlines. “I’m attracted to the abstract concept of a border, which is arbitrary in every sense,” he says. “There are no border barriers or custom posts between the SBA lands and the Republic. Normal civilian day-to-day life takes place along the peninsula, right next to and inside the border. It is hard to tell if you have crossed into UK land. [But] using devices such as iPhones and services like Google Maps, the border becomes apparent and real.” Ventourakis shot for about a month in August 2014 but spent two years before that planning and researching the area. Using Google Maps …