All posts filed under: 1854 Media

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

Introducing Aiyush Pachnanda, EyeEm Photographer of the Year: “I want to portray people as they really are”

Aiyush Pachnanda may have yet to finish his Photojournalism degree, but he’s already taking the photography world by storm. EyeEm, a global photography marketplace and community, recently announced him as their Photographer of the Year, the most prestigious title in the EyeEm Photography Awards. As well as receiving a trip to Berlin Photo Week and a Sony Alpha camera, Pachnanda will act as the EyeEm ambassador during 2019. So what is it that sets Pachnanda apart from the 100,000 other photographers who entered? His winning image, a low angle portrait of a heavily tattooed man with a grey tower block looming behind him, says it all. Flick through Pachnanda’s work and you’ll notice two recurring themes: urban landscapes, and striking people. Splitting his time between London, where he grew up, and Cardiff, where he studies, Pachnanda has an enduring interest both in the city, and in the subcultures that people form there. In his unaffected way (he’s pursuing a rough-and-ready style of photojournalism, often using an old point-and-shoot), he captures the raucous underbelly of urban …

2018-11-02T11:37:53+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 …

2018-10-30T12:16:09+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: Family of Man

Portrait of Humanity is a new global initiative in partnership with Magnum Photos, seeking to prove that there is more that unites us than sets us apart. Through the power of photography, we want to portray the unity of human beings around the world, by inviting photographers to capture the many faces of humanity. There has been only one exhibition that has sought to spread a similar message on this scale before, and that was Family of Man, which toured the world for eight years in the 1950s. In 1955, almost a decade into the Cold War, and as anxiety was building surrounding the possibility of a catastrophic Nuclear War, Edward Steichen, the director of the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Photography, decided to take on a momentous challenge; to create a photography exhibition showing the “essential oneness of mankind.” Calling for images taken by photographers across the world, Steichen’s aim was to build a visual manifesto of peace. First shown at MoMA in New York (US), the exhibition then toured the world for eight …

2018-10-15T16:14:46+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 …

2018-10-12T10:00:24+00:00

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

“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 judges with such distinctive reputations is a huge boost for my confidence, and gives me the motivation to …

2018-10-08T10:49:59+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

BJP Staff