All posts filed under: Portrait of Humanity

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: “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: “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: 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

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: ‘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 …

2018-10-03T15:20:14+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: Celebrating São Paulo’s transgender community

The life expectancy of transgender women in Brazil is just 35 years old. They are subject to extensive daily abuse, and around 90% of them work as prostitutes, having been ostracised by family and friends. The country also has the world’s highest murder rates of transgender women; there have been 113 this year alone. With no social visibility, there is very little being done to counteract the epidemic of abuse. Times are changing, thanks to the women leading the fight for their rights, but there is a long way to go. To understand this fractured, but resilient, community, Camila Falcão spent the last eighteen months photographing them in São Paulo. Falcão’s work seeks to elevate and celebrate her subjects, by presenting them as individuals, and not statistics. Through two projects, Abaixa Que É Tiro and Onika, she has constructed an intimate and timely portrait of the community. Given the environment in which these women exist, the response to the work has defied expectation; Falcão has been invited to give interviews for publications such as Brazilian …

2018-10-11T17:26:13+00:00

Portrait of Humanity: Marc Moitessier’s photographic revolution

Marc Moitessier is a photographer from Marseille, France. His most recent, and perhaps most challenging, body of work is 36 Poses, a project borne out of his frustration with himself and the over-saturated photography industry. Ignited by the feeling that he was taking too many photographs, and no longer feeling excited by them, Moitessier set out to Beijing, where he didn’t speak the language, and with little more than his camera, a fix lense, and a single role of 36 exp film. The aim? To take a single photograph each day, a challenge so intense that after completing the project, Moitessier didn’t touch the photographs for ten years. The images themselves tell a different story. They capture quiet moments; a group of men playing cards in a local park, people slurping large bowlfuls of noodles, a guard smoking as he leans against the Great Wall of China. Perfectly composed, it’s difficult to believe that the photographs were taken in just a single shot – a testament to Moitessier’s craftsmanship. We spoke to Moitessier about how …

2018-10-11T17:27:49+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

BJP Staff