“Shared stories bring people together,” says Sophie Green who, over the course of two years, photographed the Aladura Spiritualist African congregations of Southwark in south-east London. Also known as “White Garment” churches, Aladura is a denomination of Christianity predominantly practised by Yoruba Nigerians. Even though the faith has become synonymous with parts of London – Southwark holding the highest concentration of African churches outside the continent – it has been rarely documented. Curious about what glues individuals together as a community, Green asked a passing congregation member if she could accompany her that Sunday. On invitation, the photographer proceeded to “watch the seven-hour service in awe.” “There is a joy and energy in these congregations that I have never witnessed before,” Green explains. “The services are collaborative, and there is a freedom for people to express themselves and their cultural roots.” Such powerful unification over a belief, and the moving shared experience, triggered Green’s desire to document what she had witnessed. As well as honouring faith, these services are a way for the community to …
“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.
For Sophie Green, one of the exhibiting photographers in BJP’s Portrait of Britain 2017, staying true to your vision is key
Inspired by the ancient Roman virtue of Gravitas, Christiane Monarchi has curated a photo exhibition focusing in on adolescents and their depiction