As our next evolutionary step following Portrait of Britain, we are pleased to announce a global exhibition, together with Magnum Photos: Portrait of Humanity. The aim of this new initiative is to create one of the most far-reaching collaborative photography exhibitions in history. We launched Portrait of Britain two years ago, as a way to combat the divisions created by Brexit, and to build a body of work reflecting our diverse and united nation. And now, as we prepare to celebrate Portrait of Britain’s first ever book launch, we are introducing an international project to overcome our differences, transcend borders, and connect as a global community through the power of photography. “Portrait of Britain has been a phenomenon – a celebration of British culture and diversity, seen by millions of people and growing to become the most viewed photographic exhibition ever,” says Marc Hartog, CEO of 1854 Media. “Our mission now is to expand this to a global platform. Portrait of Humanity is essentially the same concept but on a global scale, asking photographers to …
“As a photographer, you are basically only able to create an image of how you see someone rather than maybe what is really there,” says Jenny Lewis, whose portraiture has been published in two books, and whose work was selected for the inaugural Portrait of Britain show
photography has the power to unite and create empathy, something that we, as photographers, should see as our obligation to the world,” says Ali Mobasser, who was one of the winners of BJP’s Portrait of Britain project last year. “Exhibiting using major advertising space was a brilliant idea,” he said of the initiative, “replacing its capitalist function with a humanist cause is genius. It’s a bit like secretly replacing someone’s cigarettes with carrot sticks, or opening up the Daily Mail to find the poetry of Rumi.”
How do you shoot a great portrait? It’s all about connection, says Dan Wilton, one of the Portrait of Britain winners last year. “Sometimes that can be hard – especially with very short shoots – but that’s one of the challenges and one of the reasons I love it so much.”
“Taking someone’s portrait is always a disruptive and often very awkward event. Everyone has their default portrait pose. The role of the photographer is to push beyond, to find that mysterious intimate moment that only a camera can freeze.”
Portrait of Britain, a nationwide exhibition showing the face of modern Britain, will close for submissions this Saturday.