All posts tagged: Documentary


Snow as seen by Sohrab Hura

The notion of home is complex and notably so today in an era of mass migration and displacement. For the residents of Kashmir — a mountainous state positioned above India’s northern tip — their homeland’s identity remains contested. Since the partition of India in 1947, during which the independent dominions of India and Pakistan replaced the British Raj, both countries have clashed over ownership of the region. India controls most of Kashmir, with Pakistan and China governing smaller sections, and today, the state continues to be a heavily militarised zone. In late 2019, the Indian government intensified tensions when they revoked the limited autonomy of Jammu and Kasmir, heightening the military presence and enforcing an internet blackout, which largely remains in place, to limit dissent. The move has paralysed the region, bringing many of its schools and businesses to a close, and further disempowering its residents, who have consistently fought for sovereignty in place of colonial occupation. In spite of the volatile political situation, Kashmir’s landscape is spectacular: snow envelops its jagged mountain tops and, …


Documenting the invisible effects of a nuclear disaster

On 11 March 2011, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Japan unleashed a tsunami that roared through the country’s Tōhoku region, devastating its northeastern coast and killing around 20,000 people. At Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, the waves unleashed another menace: a level seven nuclear meltdown — the world’s largest disaster since Chernobyl.  Due to concerns over the effects of radiation exposure, the government established a 30-km exclusion zone, evacuating 160,000 people. Today, almost nine years since the tragedy, roughly 50,000 people are still displaced, but there are signs of recovery. Communities further away from the power plant have been restored, rail services and roads have reopened, and, in 2017, the government began to financially incentivise residents to move back to their hometowns. The news caught the attention of British photographer Giles Price, who was looking to document the construction of the 2020 Summer Olympics, following on from previous projects made in Rio and London. In the 2020 games, Fukushima will host one Olympic baseball match and six softball games, and on 26 …


Geomancy: Decrypting our connection to nature

The title of Michael Lundgren’s latest photobook, Geomancy, refers to the occultic method of interpreting sedimental markings and patterns on the ground. But, like the method of divination, from which it takes its title, the book is devoid of factual statements: there is no text or allusion to time or place. The book comprises a sequence of strange structures in mutant landscapes, and colours, which, surely, do not exist in the “real world”? So where are these places, are the alien forms symbolic, and what do the images say about our world and our reality? “This book is interested in the psychic space that’s created by photographs,” says Lundgren, explaining that although some of the colours are manipulated, he considers the images to be rooted in the real world. “It refers to our own experiences or visions of the earth, but does not point to any particular landscape, region, or ecosystem.” Geomancy follows on from Transfigurations (2008) and Matter (2016) and is an extension of the photographer’s continued interest in mythology and surrealism. Lundgren’s earlier …


BJP Staff