MA students document global issues

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To begin the year, here is the work of 10 postgraduate students who have just completed the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course at the London College of Communication.

Each picture is just one of a series by each photographer. I would encourage you to click the website link at the bottom of the page for a deeper look.

Max Houghton, the senior lecturer on the course, said: "Photography's ability to create or extend discourse is not yet utilised fully in our sophisticated culture; its use more frequently associated with instant, devourable satisfaction, as defined by the unsavoury neologism 'clickbait'.

"The gentle invitation, then, to look longer, to consider, may be the most radical act you could engage in today."

An exhibition of the work, Consider This, can be see at the college from 9 to 15 January.

Adhytia Putra

Image source, Adhytia Putra

Adhytia Putra's series is called The Price of Paper and explores the lives of communities affected by deforestation in the province of Riau, Indonesia.

"The story looks into the complexity behind deforestation and the different people, lifeline, and ecology affected by the deforestation, while exploring the nature of illegal logging and [the] governmental aspect of it."

Andy Barmer

Image source, Andy Barmer

Abide With Me by Andy Barmer looks at the lives of three generations of one family, and how the past has shaped their present.

"The film is lyrical but accessible, and unlike format TV, it is more reflective than didactic in approach. It allows the testaments, anecdotes and archive to unfold - leaving the issues raised open for the viewer to consider."

Betty Zapata

Image source, Betty Zapata

Venezuelan documentary photographer and journalist Betty Zapata worked undercover to report on the issues facing her country's healthcare system.

"The Venezuelan public healthcare situation is a microcosm of the situation in the country as a whole. The constant realities of poverty, violence, internal political conflicts, corruption, negligence and abandonment are present, both within the walls of public hospitals and amplified within the borders of Venezuela."

Denise Lew

Image source, Denise Lew

Denise Lew's pictures capture the last traces of the Jewish community in the Moroccan city of Tangier, the majority of whom are now over the age of 65.

"The Jewish community has been an active part of Tangier's life throughout history, enriching its economy, social and cultural life, and peacefully coexisting with their Muslim brothers. Today their number is diminished, but they remain faithful to who they are: Jews and Moroccan. Their history is an example of coexistence and tolerance - a history that deserves to be remembered."

Miriam Stanke

Image source, Miriam Stanke

You, River of My Tears by Miriam Stanke is the story of south-eastern region of Dersim - now known as Tunceli - in Turkey. In 2011 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologised for the killing of more than 13,000 Kurds by the Turkish military in the late 1930s.

"The project captures glimpses of a society which cultural and religious history, in its particular diversity and isolation, reveals itself not only in special prayers, rites or structures of society today, but also in clear political actions for autonomy and equality of different social groups, and for the support and development of its own identity."

Guo Siyu

Image source, Guo Siyu

Chinese Pastoral by Guo Siyu charts her grandmother's last visit to her home village, Shuang Miao Cun, in the centre of China.

"After much thought, seeking and experimentation, I finally I found my way to present what the village life looks like."

Joanna Demarco

Image source, Joanna Demarco

Joanna Demarco has also focused on her homeland - this time in Malta, recording the lives of young people who have grown up as part of the European Union, which the country joined in 2004.

"The project suggests that this generation of youth may personify Malta's transition between conventionalism and secularism. It explores the effects of this change, and asks where the country is heading as, after all, it is the youth who construct the future of a country as much as the adults."

Joshua L Irwandi

Image source, Joshua L Irwandi

Not a Blank Canvas by Joshua L Irwandi looks at Asmat in Indonesia.

"Asmat is one from hundreds of tribes in West Papua struggling to find a place in their own land as outside influences infiltrate their society. Asmat is not a blank canvas where influences and changes can be arbitrarily imposed. The Asmats have their own way to respond to the changes in their land, but how effective this will be is unknown. It remains difficult to predict their future."

Martin Alan Smith

Image source, Martin Alan Smith

Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt by Martin Alan Smith is a multimedia piece that explores conflict and its representation.

"It features news coverage of the conflict in Iraq from Western Kurdish media, audio and video from Islamic State propaganda, as well as my own photographs and video. The title is from the novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut."

Amit Bose

Image source, Amit Bose

Amit Bose's work captures the Sunderbans in India, a Unesco heritage site that is home to many rare species and the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Bose said: "My project deals with the past, present and future of this conflict between man and animal which has haunted the islands of this archipelago for over 200 years."

Details of the exhibition can be found here.

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