In 2010, when BJP first came across Jamie Hawkesworth, he’d just been shooting in Preston Bus Station along with Adam Murray and Robert Parkinson from the Preston is my Paris zine. Picking out passersby who caught his eye in the rundown but celebrated Brutalist transport hub, Hawkesworth’s images were published in a free newspaper and given to the disadvantaged teenagers who used the buses. They helped save the bus station from demolition, but they also helped launch a stellar career, with Hawkesworth signing up with the prestigious London agency MAP soon afterwards.
Fast-forward to 2018 and Hawkesworth is a celebrated fashion photographer, who’s shot ad campaigns for Alexander McQueen and Marni, and editorial for publications such as Vogue Italia, W, and Purple. He’s also got an exhibition on show in London, a blue painted fence, which shows off his film, drawings, and writing, as well as new photographs from Kenya, Louisiana and Romania. Despite his success he’s still very much the same man BJP first met eight years ago, down-to-earth and modest, with a refreshingly breezy approach to his many talents.
Of his drawings, for example, he says it’s just a case of “having room to get out there and explore, of being open to chance”. “I found myself giving it a try, thinking ‘Oh I’ll just try some charcoal’, and it went from there,” he says. “The great thing about charcoal is it’s easy to get it on [the paper] and see where energy takes you.”
Internet penetration in Kenya has grown so rapidly over the past decade that the country has been dubbed the “Silicon Savannah”. In 2009, a submarine fibre optic cable linking Mombasa to the rest of the world was launched, and construction of “Kenya Vision 2030” is now underway – a £11.2bn, 5000-acre technology city expected to create around 60,000 jobs in the IT sector.
Household tech names such as Google, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, and Vodafone all have a presence in Kenya, and, says 27-year-old German photographer Janek Stroisch, “young entrepreneurs are seizing this opportunity as a chance to make change”. “Hundreds of youths have used the internet to launch start-up companies to try to create jobs for themselves,” he adds, “because sadly there aren’t enough to go around.”
“Human life at its most basic level needs water to survive. It’s tragic that too much of the world does not have access to a sustainable source of water in order to survive, never mind live,” says photographer Sophie Green of her work with Just a Drop, a charity providing access to sustainable clean water solutions in Kenya. Born in the UK and best-known for exploring facets of British culture such as drag racing and horse fairs, Green isn’t an obvious choice for the charity. But Just a Drop approached her because they were drawn to her aesthetic, she says – and, she points out, she’s spent the last two years documenting African culture in Britain.
“The deeper the white man went into Africa, the faster the life flowed out of it, off the plains and out of the bush…vanishing in acres of trophies and hides and carcasses” proclaimed renowned photographer and artist Peter Beard in his 1965 seminal publication The End Game, a tome highlighting the atrocities of man made destruction done to Africa’s wildlife in the National Parks of Kenya’s Tsavo lowlands and Uganda. And in 2015, deeper the white man goes. July saw online outrage erupt over the merciless killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, poached by US dentist Walter Palmer for a sum of $50,000. Meanwhile as the world mourned Cecil, five of Kenya’s endangered elephants were quietly slain in Tsavo, to the absent furor of almost no media attention. This devastating poaching incident echoes The End Game’s haunting images and text that fill its 292 pages, which chronicle the same ruthless fate these endangered elephants were subject to half a century ago as they are today. The 50th anniversary edition of …