All posts filed under: Studio 1854

LUMIX Stories for Change: Bringing the stories of New Malden’s North Korean defectors to life

LUMIX Stories for Change is an ongoing collaboration between British Journal of Photography and Panasonic LUMIX that celebrates the power of photography in driving positive change. In August 2019, three photographers were awarded a grant and LUMIX S Series kit to create a new body of work around the themes Inclusion and Belonging. Below Catherine Hyland discusses the making of her project. In many ways it has been the ideal assignment, says Catherine Hyland of her recent LUMIX Stories for Change project, an ongoing collaboration between British Journal of Photography and Panasonic LUMIX that celebrates the power of photography in driving positive change. “To be given all this creative freedom and told ‘make what you want’, here’s loads of time and a good amount of money – that doesn’t happen very often.” Over the past year, Hyland has spent time with the North Korean community in New Malden, South London, eating with them, listening to their experiences and sharing in many cultural rituals from traditional dances to Korean instrumental lessons, choir practices, K-pop events and even laughter …

2020-02-17T15:15:11+00:00

Stories for Change: Laura Pannack

Stories for Change is an ongoing collaboration between British Journal of Photography and Panasonic LUMIX that celebrates the power of photography in driving positive change. In August 2019, three photographers were awarded a grant and a LUMIX S Series kit to create a new body of work around the themes Inclusion and Belonging. Below Laura Pannack discusses what she has planned. Remember the first time you went clothes shopping? Watched TV? Made friends with someone of the opposite sex? Probably not. But for the growing number of young Israelis taking the dramatic step of leaving the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world in which they’ve been raised, these experiences are completely novel. In a forthcoming project, Laura Pannack follows one of them, a young man named Baruch, as he navigates a new path, unmoored from his Orthodox upbringing into a more modern lifestyle. Pannack’s Stories for Change series builds on an ongoing focus on Jewish life that dates back to her early days as a photographer. “When I moved to Hackney after university, I was really intrigued by …

2020-01-15T10:23:45+00:00

Celebrating joy, positivity and resilience with London’s inspirational community of North Korean defectors

LUMIX Stories for Change is an ongoing collaboration between British Journal of Photography and Panasonic LUMIX that celebrates the power of photography in driving positive change. Three photographers were awarded a grant and LUMIX S Series kit to create a new body of work around the themes Inclusion and Belonging. Here, Catherine Hyland explains what compelled her to make the work she did. After reading Barbara Demick’s acclaimed book Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea some years ago, Catherine Hyland’s interest in the region and its people was set in motion. She began going to talks given by North Korean defectors in London and gradually started to get to know some of the people who have successfully made it out of North Korea to start new lives in the UK. “It’s something you can’t quite get your head around and I’m always quite curious about complicated stories,” says Hyland, whose work often focuses on people’s relationship to the places they inhabit.  When the opportunity arose to pursue a project in collaboration with a …

2020-02-13T17:53:38+00:00

“He manages everything with confidence…I have that same goal for my life”: Star Wars Families in Japan

“Our family and friends aren’t Star Wars fans at all,” says Hinako Kassai, who lives in Tokyo with her husband Kento. It came as a surprise, then, when these family and friends arrived to the Kassais’ wedding reception two years ago to find it was Star Wars-themed. “We set it all up as a secret,” says Kento. “We had over 20 characters come out in costume.” The day was plotted accordingly. “The story was that the Empire came to celebrate our wedding,” Kento goes on. “Right when we were supposed to exchange rings, we couldn’t find them, and then the Jedi, R2-D2 and the Empire came out to deliver the rings.” The day was a huge success, even to those unfamiliar with the saga. “Everyone was really surprised and excited. Even after some time had passed they talked about how great it was.” Kento and Hinako, both 29, met while studying graphic design at Tokyo Zokei University. “We had different classes, but we met somewhere on campus and talked a lot,” says Kento. “I thought …

2019-12-06T14:49:40+00:00

“The nicest journey is the journey that allows one to serve others”: Star Wars Families in Italy

“Star Wars is the first movie that I remember ever watching,” says Paula Avila. “My dad took my brother and me to see the movie. When I stepped out of the cinema, I did not want to come out of this fantastic world that had been portrayed. It bonded me and my brother in hours and hours of  pretend play and daydream…dreaming that maybe an Ewok would show up, and we could keep him at home.” Many years have now passed since Paula and her brother first fell in love with the Skywalker saga. Originally from Colombia, Paula now lives in Angrogna, Italy, with her husband Eliseo and their children Sophia, Manuela, and Pietro. Their home is in a beautiful valley just 10 minutes from Paula’s father, Hernando, and his wife, Pilar. “My youngest son, Pietro, was seven when the third trilogy came out,” remembers Paula. “He would enter the Star Wars world at seven, just like me. It became a family occasion for us: a special moment to welcome him to the adventures of …

2019-12-06T14:52:32+00:00

‘They know that they can come to me for anything and share their feelings’ : Star Wars Families in the United States

“I was raised in a home where I couldn’t have the volume on when I watched TV, if I got to watch TV [at all]” says Milan Nguyen. “So when my cousins took me to this huge movie theatre, with these loud, amazing battles going on…it was pretty awesome.” Milan was eight when she watched Star Wars for the first time. Now, she shares her appreciation for the Skywalker saga with her kids: Brandon, Jacob, Paul, and James. Years ago, the Nguyen family story was very different. Milan was living in Washington DC with Jacob, then aged three, and was pregnant with James when she left their father and moved in with her parents. “Grandma and Grandpa said, ‘Come and live with us, and we’ll help take care of you,’” she describes. “They were great to take us in and help us out, and made it a warm and loving place for us.” They built a gym at the back of the house for Milan to use to train her clients — she works as …

2019-12-06T12:22:32+00:00

A rock band and a newborn in the desert: Star Wars Families in Dubai

Musicians Will and Gill Janssen have spent the last few years living the rock’n’roll dream. Expats from Canada and Scotland respectively, the couple live in Dubai and play keyboard and drums in The Boxtones, one of the city’s leading bands. Signed to Universal Music MENA, they have toured the world and played support slots for some of the world’s biggest artists, including Liam Gallagher, The Stereophonics and Bryan Adams. Yet while their lives revolve around playing music, the Janssen’s Dubai Marina apartment suggests there is another prominent passion in their lives: the Force. Boxes of Star Wars jigsaw puzzles sit alongside Star Wars vinyl records and read-along cassette tapes, while Darth Vader’s cloak and headpiece hang ominously in the corner, overlooking a pristine collection of Stormtrooper helmets. The room’s light switch reads ‘LIGHT SIDE’ and ‘DARK SIDE’, and their cats are named after characters in the films. You might even hear John Williams’ iconic score playing. “It gives me peace,” says Will. “You sit back after a long day, you put on some music, no …

2019-12-06T14:27:27+00:00

The Sikh family living a Jedi lifestyle: Star Wars Families in Australia

Amarjit Singh was the one who initiated his family into a love of the Force. “The first time I watched Star Wars was when it initially came out in 1977. It just blew us apart,” he describes. “It was beyond its time. I just fell in love straight away, and it’s been a part of our lives ever since.” The films are a mainstay of Singh family life. “All of the recent movies that have come out, we watch a few times,” says Updesh, “but the first time is always as a family.” The Singhs are a Sikh family living in Melbourne. Amarjit, 57, is a nurse; his wife, Gurmit, works for a textiles company; his children, Kirtan, 20, and Updesh, 23, both work in retail. Updesh has just completed her studies in psychology and Kirtan is pursuing a degree in education, which he hopes to switch to media. Together, they share a love for the galaxy far, far away. There are parallels in the power of the Force and the religion practised by the …

2019-12-05T17:10:54+00:00

“Courage in the face of overwhelming odds”: Star Wars Families in South Africa

The last few years have been testing for Lillo and Robyn-Lee Bergh and their nine-year old son, Eli. Following an extended period of strain on both sides of the extended family, their marriage ended up isolating them even further. “When my husband and I got married, he was disowned by his family for choosing a dark-skinned girl,” Robyn says. “I fell pregnant very quickly, at a time when life fell apart for us. In addition to that, my family also turned their back on us. We were both young, scared, and without any support.” It was also around this time that Robyn, a self-proclaimed “Star Wars geek”, introduced Lillo to the Force for the first time. For Robyn, the films had played a major part in her childhood; raised by a single mum, her Star Wars video tapes were a prized possession. “Star Wars babysat me,” Robyn says, “[My mum] had to go work, and wake up early in the morning, while I was still asleep. She drove to Jo-burg, came back, and I was already in bed. So I …

2019-12-04T17:34:13+00:00

The four-year-old fighting Kylo Ren: Star Wars Families in Germany

“Anybody can be anything,” says Benjamin Bedeman, talking about a subject close to his heart: Star Wars. “There’s a princess that becomes a general; there’s a young boy that becomes a Jedi; there’s a smuggler that becomes a war hero. It doesn’t matter where you come from, and it doesn’t matter what your family is, because family bonds will just form somehow. I think that appeals to a lot of people around the world.” Bedeman lives in Blieskastel, Germany, with his partner Caroline and her daughter, Ylva. The three of them describe themselves as a “patchwork family.” “I’m not Ylva’s biological father, but when I started dating Caroline it was clear that to have a successful relationship with her, I needed a successful relationship with Ylva as well,” Benjamin describes. “Maybe she doesn’t yet get the concept of having a Dad. But she knows what I am [to] her… We are a family. We are not blood-related, we’re not married, but that’s not important. It’s how you feel about it.” Benjamin and Caroline realised early …

2019-12-04T17:32:29+00:00

BJP Staff