Author: Alice Turrell

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

Sarah Waiswa is a Kenya-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 Uganda, Waiswa and her family were forced to flee to Kenya 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 …

2019-01-10T13:05:12+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: “Stories are everything and they are everywhere”

Danielle Da Silva is a photographer, activist and filmmaker, and the Founder and CEO of Photographers Without Borders, an initiative that connects volunteer photographers and videographers to grassroots causes, NGOs and non-profit partners, in the hopes that new possibilities will be manifested through the power of visual storytelling. Her work embodies the ethos of Portrait of Humanity, and seeks to show the individuality, unity and community of people across the globe. Danielle is passionate about using photography to connect people to the earth and to each other. Her personal projects have taken her around the world, and she has worked with hundreds of NGOs, bringing important issues to light through her lense. Her work has led her to be nominated for the 2018 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, and she has also done two TEDx talks; ‘Grassroots Narrative’, and ‘Connection is the Key to Conservation’. Her passions are rooted in conserving parklands, fostering equality, and encouraging ordinary people to find their power. The main aims of her work are to communicate the extraordinary efforts of people …

2019-01-10T13:05:29+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 …

2019-01-10T13:05:53+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: ‘I want to make you look at the wonderful people all around you’

Jean-Baptiste Pellerin has been photographing people on the street for over three decades, culminating in his latest project, Backtothestreet, a body of work that encapsulates what it means to make art accessible to everyone. Pellerin uses cement and glue to weld the portraits he takes onto city walls, meaning that all of the photographs taken on the street, and make their way back to the street, where they are exhibited to the public globally and for free. We found Pellerin’s photographs on the streets of Arles, France, during Les Rencontres d’Arles in July 2018. His portraits struck us in their diversity and positivity, showing the individuality, community and unity of the people we encounter in the streets each day, but who we rarely notice. We spoke to Pellerin about his project in light of Portrait of Humanity, a new initiative seeking to prove that there is more that unites us, than sets us apart.   How did you first get into street photography? I started doing street photography about 35 years ago. It was the …

2019-01-10T13:06:34+00:00

Revisiting Alys Tomlinson’s BJP IPA-shortlisted series Ex-Voto

Last few hours left to apply! BJP IPA 2019 deadline: 20 December, 2018. There will be NO extended deadline.  “Placed anonymously and often hidden from view, ‘Ex-Votos’ are offerings left by pilgrims as signs of gratitude and devotion,” explains Alys Tomlinson of the subjects of Ex-Voto, a series exploring offerings of religious devotion found at Christian pilgrimage sites. These small donations of gratitude take the form of handwritten notes neatly folded and hidden in the crevice of rocks, crosses etched into stone, or lengths of ribbon tied around piles of twigs, creating a tangible narrative between faith, person and the landscape. Ex-Voto explores this narrative through formal portraiture, large format landscape photography, and small, detailed still lives of the objects and markers left behind. Last year, the series was shortlisted for the BJP International Photography Award, and it has garnered global attention ever since. “To have my interests recognized as resonating beyond my own curious impulses is both exciting and encouraging,” says Alys of being shortlisted for last year’s BJP IPA, “While to receive recognition from …

2018-12-20T15:36:39+00:00

Enter the BJP International Photography Award 2019

Less than two weeks to apply! BJP IPA 2019 deadline: 20 December, 2018 – 4pm GMT. There will be NO extended deadline.  The latest edition of the BJP International Photography Award is now open for entries, offering photographers the chance to win a solo show at TJ Boulting, one of London UK’s leading galleries. As ever, British Journal of Photography are searching for established photographers to enter new projects with compelling narratives. The series may be shot in any format or camera model, on film or digital, and containing a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 images. The BJP International Photography Award is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a solo show at renowned London UK gallery TJ Boulting. All costs will be covered for the show; from printing, framing and installation, to travel and accommodation, so the winning photographer can oversee the preparation of their exhibition and attend the opening night. Alongside the solo show, the winner’s work will also be published across British Journal of Photography’s print and digital channels, …

2018-12-06T14:40:53+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 …

2019-01-10T13:07:21+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: ‘Keeping “the other” away is a disaster for our planet’

As we welcome people to submit photographs to Portrait of Humanity, an initiative celebrating our shared values of individuality, community and unity, we also highlight the work of photographers who have done just that. And perhaps no one has embodied this ethos more so than Jimmy Nelson, who has spent the last 30 years photographing indigenous cultures around the world, in the hopes that we might be able to learn from them. Jimmy Nelson’s latest project, Homage to Humanity, has just been released. This time, his work has been produced not only in the form of a book, but also digitally, with an app that has the capacity to scan over every photograph in the book, and to bring them to life with interviews and films. This allows people to see the making of the work, and to understand the process behind it. This new way of bringing people into the closed worlds of these indigenous tribes combines their traditions with our technology. As we increasingly spend more time than ever on our smartphones, Nelson …

2019-01-10T13:07:44+00:00

BJP Staff