The next generation
- 12 December 2013
- From the section In Pictures
Viewing the final projects by MA students on the photojournalism and documentary photography course at the London College of Communication is always a treat, and this year is no exception.
It features the work of 31 photographers who cover a wide range of subjects, from personal stories to those entwined with conflicts and political issues.
Below you will find single images from some of the students, but I wanted to further highlight a couple of them by running a picture gallery of their work.
The first is Farhrad Berahman's Wonderland of Iran, an insight into the lives of young Iranians from liberal families. A powerful piece of work that uses photography to reveal a side of the country rarely portrayed in the West. You can view a picture gallery of the work here.
The other is by a former television documentary producer for the BBC, Danielle Peck, whose project, Dreamland, documents the British seaside resort of Margate. It is a place I remember well from my own childhood, so perhaps I view this with a nostalgic glow, but the presentation of the final project in newspaper form works very well - not something I can reflect here. A very strong document indeed and a powerful reminder of that special world a photograph can uncover. You can view a picture gallery of the work here.
The end-of-course show is called 31 degrees and can be seen at the London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle, 12-20 December 2013.
London-based documentary photographer Mike Kear's work is entitled Condom Nation - A glimpse into life in Swaziland in the era of HIV. The pictures explore the lives of those living with HIV in the country that has the highest rate in the world (26.5% of the adult population).
Eduardo Leal's pictures take the viewer inside the life of the Forcados - Portuguese matadors. The photographs concentrate on their preparation and the event inside the bullring. But despite its bloody nature, the drama and power of the struggle comes through.
Strictly Do Not Kiss Here by Gayatri Ganju includes images of couples sharing intimate moments in public in India, something that traditionally is frowned upon by some.
Ganju writes: "New social structures and values are fast making their way in to the urban Indian lifestyle. But the old ones aren't disappearing. The past few years have seen some very ugly incidents of couples being harassed, beaten and publicly humiliated by the police and representatives of religious right wing groups in the country. There's very little tolerance for public display of affection.
"The work looks at space and intimacy. At the traces lovers leave in each others' lives. The collective experience of braving the odds. And at dealing with the loss and pain of when sometimes it just doesn't work out."
Mohammad Hosseini's work follows the daily lives of four Muslims who have moved to the UK and are battling the issues of maintaining their faith in a Western society. Some remain devout while others bend the rules to fit with their new lifestyles.
Hosseini writes: "The issue of Islam has always been seen as a controversial one. There is no easy way to talk about it because everyone's experience is different and it goes without saying that many times such conversations bring more hatred than peace. The perception of the Islamic faith, in the eyes of Western society, is particularly interesting to look at and that is why I decided to tackle this interesting subject with my photo documentary."
Ecuadorian photographer Emilia Lloret's work depicts the Tsachilas, an indigenous group situated in the foothills of the Andes in Ecuador.
Lloret writes: "Tenka Kirano is a joint project with the Aguavil family, which intends to create a visual representation of a reality that does not reveal itself within a glimpse. Our aim is to awaken the notion of how the Tsachilas perceive and understand the world, presenting a photographic tribute to this often-unknown imperceptible side."
Matt Linden's project depicts the lives of transgendered women in Nepal.
He writes: "In 2007 Nepal became one of the world's first countries to implement a 'third gender' category to citizenship documents, paving the way for greater inclusion and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities into general society.
"The project Tesrolinga looks at the reality behind such progressive measures through following a group of transgendered women, all members of Nepal's Blue Diamond Society but leading very different lives - that of a sex worker, a jobseeker, a human rights activist, a fashion model and a make-up artist.
"The project, presented as a multimedia website, explores their experiences from childhood up to the present day, and looks at their hopes and dreams for their future."
Food Bank Britain by Hannah Mornement is an innovative piece of work that looks at the rise of food banks during the recent recession. Indeed, anyone attending the exhibition is asked to bring a donation for her food bank dump bin.
Magda Rakita documents the lives of girls growing up in post-war Liberia, a country that saw some widespread sexual violence during the recent years of conflict.
Rakita writes: " I focused on girls living in West Point, one of Monrovia's townships. The issues they face on daily basis are an everyday reality for most of the urban population - access to safe drinking water and electricity is restricted, and the sanitation infrastructure is almost nonexistent. However, I think it important to also highlight the hope and resilience evident in the lives of these young girls as they continue to fight to improve their prospects."
Rakita's work was highly commended in the 2013 Ian Parry Award.
Away from the harder hitting pieces, Lucy Sparks explores the county of Essex, she writes: "Essexland takes you on an alluring journey through the county's most fascinating nightclubs, bars and salons. Exploring the desires of a social group, which defines itself by indulgence and excess."
You can see more pictures by these students and others on the 31 degrees website.