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THE DECISIVE MOMENT

Quarterly journal from the Documentary Group

December 2018 Edition 14 Photo: Joan Ransley


Contents 4

Winner of the October 2018 Bi-Monthly Competition

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A Word From Our Chair

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Meet the Documentary Group Team

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Documentary Photographer of the Year 2019 - Call for volunteers

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

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#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

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Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

74 Events 76

Members’ Images

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Valerie Mather LRPS - Anti-Trump Protest

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David Gleave LRPS - Colombo, Sri Lanka

Nicole Condit-Duncan - SABUTO Cooperative, Kenya

102 Gary Jones LRPS - Hungry Ghost Festival

110 Review - 209 Women Exhibition 116 100 Years On - Images from 11 November 2018

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In the Next Edition In the March edition we plan to feature articles on Women in Photography. If you have an idea for an article, a feature you would like to write or a different angle on the topic please get in touch. We also want to feature work from RPS Documentary Group members on this theme, either finished work or projects in progress. Every edition of the journal features images from members of the Documentary Group. Our stock of projects on file is running low so why not drop me a line and show what you’ve got? decisive@rps.org

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Bi-Monthly Competition Winner

Winner of the October 2018 Bi-Monthly Competition

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Bi-Monthly Competition Winner

There were 42 entries for the fifth 2018 bi-monthly competition. As always we received the diverse range of images from across the group, so please keep entering your images. All submitted images can be seen in the Documentary Group gallery.

The winning image was ‘Trust’ by Alison Swinburne. This photograph was shot on a quiet street in Florence. It was a chance opportunity - I was attracted to the nuns coming through their property gate in a VW. The innocent connection between one nun and a passerby made me smile.

The sixth bi-monthly competition of 2018 closed on 31 December, the winner will be announced shortly. The next deadline is 28 February 2019 for images taken during December, January and February. The competition asks members to include a little background to the image providing some context. Please send your submissions to: dgcompetitions@rps.org Full details of how to enter are available on the RPS website: DG Bi-Monthly Competition

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A Word From Our Chair Welcome to another edition of The Decisive Moment. This issue has been produced by a new team. Dave Thorp has taken over as editor, supported by Graham Wilson, Lyn Newton, Steve Powell and Ryan Hardman. I’d like to welcome them and importantly offer my sincere thanks to Jhy for the excellent work he has done in making Decisive Moment a great Special Interest Group (SIG) magazine. We have a predominantly cultural and environmental theme in this issue. The work included does more than just ‘document’ or provide a record. By its very nature the subject is political (with a small ‘p’). Each author explores their topic, identifying challenges, and asking questions. Our aim (at Documentary SIG and Decisive Moment) is to keep as broad a view as possible on ‘documentary’ provided the images are consistent with the intent. Asking questions in our images infers a level of ambiguity, asking the viewer to do more, engaging them, and encouraging wider thinking. For a topic like the environment, or sustainability, this is essential. No one person can have all the answers; no government, all the solutions. Addressing our greatest global challenges encompassed by ‘climate change’, (whether tackling the plastic in our oceans, the destruction of habitats or the impact on health in our towns and cities) requires solutions at all levels from global action to little things we can do at home. Our interviewee for this issue is Simon Roberts HonFRPS, whose work explores our relationship to landscape and notions of identity and belonging. His more recent projects include Lungs of the City (exploring urban green spaces) and Merrie Albion (subtitled Landscape Studies of a Small Island).

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We also showcase Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz who was awarded the Environmental Bursary from The Royal Photographic Society. Part of this work was made in collaboration with Carl Bigmore, and can be seen in the September 2017, RPS Journal. Hanna continues to develop the project, and we see some of her newer material here. As a ‘parting gift’ we also include some of Jhy’s work as a taster for #Lastpole expedition he is embarking on - Ice Warrior’s quest for the Arctic Pole of Inaccesibility. Good luck!

Mark A Phillips ARPS Chair, RPS Documentary Group

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Meet the Documentary Group Team Chairman: Mark A Phillips ARPS I have been interested in photography since my teens and have battled to find time throughout my career. In recent years I have managed a better balance (and am still working at it), but despite being an RPS member since the late 1980s, I only got around to applying for my Licentiateship in 2012 and my Associateship in 2014. My photography is focussed almost exclusively on longer term documentary projects. I am a member of Amersham Photographic Society and the PIC Group. I also regularly attend other contemporary and documentary events, such as PhotoForum and PhotoScratch in and around London. Secretary: David Barnes LRPS I have been interested in photography since childhood and have been actively taking and making images for many years with a few lapses caused by work and the onset of family responsibilities. I retired in 2005 after a career in the IT industry. I have since combined sport spectating with photography – I spend most Saturday afternoons in winter kneeling in the mud, camera in hand, at my local rugby club. I feel at home in towns and cities and spend time in London where there is always something happening that seems to me to be worth recording.

Sub Group Organisers: East Midlands:

Howard Fisher LRPS

docem@rps.org

South East:

Janey Devine FRPS

docse@rps.org

Northern:

Peter Dixon ARPS

docnorthern@rps.org

Southern:

Mo Connelly LRPS

docsouthern@rps.org

Thames Valley:

Philip Joyce ARPS

doctv@rps.org

East Anglia:

Volunteer Required

docea@rps.org

Yorkshire:

Graham Evans

docyork@rps.org

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Treasurer: Justin Cliffe LRPS I have been interested in photography since my late teens however family and work commitments then took priority and I really only got back to it since retiring from a financial career in the City in 2008. I then worked, on a part-time basis, for a charity in London for the next 7 years. I joined the RPS, and the Documentary Group, in 2011 in order to develop my photography. I was awarded my LRPS in 2013 – when I also took on the Group’s Treasurer function. I am also a member of Woking Photographic Society and my particular interest is ‘street photography’, particularly in London but also when out and about on my travels. Committee Member and Group Webmaster: Steven Powell I have enjoyed a turbulent relationship with photography over most of my adult life with my technical ability often letting down my vision! Nevertheless I’m always ready for that one-ina-million shot which makes every thing worthwhile. I joined the Documentary Group in 2016 to see more examples of the style I love so much. As well as looking after our website and bi-monthly competition, I’m occasionally called on to document interesting events at work to help promote the efforts of other teams. I’m aiming to achieve the LRPS accreditation (and catch up with the rest of the team).

The Decisive Moment Team:

And the rest of the team:

Editor:

Dave Thorp

Bi-Monthly Competition Manager: Steven Powell

Sub-Editors:

Dr Graham Wilson

Social Media:

Steven Powell

Flickr:

Chris Barbara ARPS

Lyn Newton LRPS Editorial:

Steven Powell

Ryan Hardman 9


Call for volunteers

Documentary Photographer of the Year 2019 Plans for the 2019 competition are beginning to take shape but to ensure its success we need your help with some key roles. To make sure that as many people as possible have a chance to enjoy the exhibition we are planning to take the show on the road.

www.rpsdpoty.com 10


Call for volunteers

Do you know of a venue in your area we could use? Could you help with booking two or three exhibitions around the UK? Are you able to spare a bit to time to help organise the competition winners event? Please contact Mark Phillips (doc@rps.org) for more information. 11


Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

Simon Roberts HonFRPS

Interview by Mark A Phillips ARPS 12


Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

For this issue, we interview Simon Roberts HonFRPS (b1974), a British artist-photographer whose work deals with our relationship to landscape, and notions of identity and belonging. Simon has published and exhibited widely, and his photographs reside in major public and private collections, including the George Eastman House, Deutsche Börse Art Collection, and V&A Collection. In 2010, he was commissioned as the official British Election Artist by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee to produce a record of the General Election on behalf of the UK Parliamentary Art Collection; and in 2013 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. His recent published work includes ‘We English’, ‘Merrie Albion’ exploring events in Britain over the last decade, and ‘Green Lungs of the City’, exploring urban green spaces. His work can be found online at: www.simoncroberts.com 13


Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

Starting out you did a degree in Cultural Geography. What led you to chose this, and what made you take the step into photography? Photography was very much part of my upbringing; my dad was a keen amateur photographer. It was something I was always doing, as a creative outlet. Initially I wanted to be film director. I had worked in a film studio and the Director of Photography there believed that the best directors were also good photographers, so learning the craft of photography, it seemed, would help me get into the film industry. However, I had a quite traditional family background which dictated that I should study ‘something proper’, which really meant engineering, but that wasn’t going to happen. So, I studied Human Geography at Sheffield, which I don’t regret, but I knew it wasn’t a subject I was going to take on as a career. However, it gave me a different outlook and grounding. When I graduated, I moved to London and started looking at getting into photography. I signed up for the LCP course, but then I found out I could study photography much cheaper back in Sheffield. So, I went back to Sheffield and spent a year there doing an NCTJ photojournalism course, which was a training ground to be a news photographer; not what I really wanted to do. I left after 6 months to follow my own path in editorial photography as I saw magazines as being a more natural outlet for my work.

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

And how has that helped inform your photography? It has helped in several ways. It has helped contextually; thinking about the subject in terms of its visual nature. It helped me understand how to research a project, and how to think about its theoretical background. How to talk about the work. Logistically too, planning; like researching my dissertation. Some of the big projects I do take time researching, figuring out logistics, and then field work. My geography dissertation involved a 12-week field trip across East Africa. So, in some ways it was a good framework in which to start thinking about how to create bodies of work. Who would you say have been your main influencers in photographic terms? My influences have changed over time. Initially, it was Don McCullin and “Unreasonable Behaviour”, which I got at fifteen. Then, British reportage photographers like Martin Parr and Anna Fox. Then, I became interested in people like Paul Graham. I was introduced to the New Topographic movement and American photographers like Joel Sternfeld. From there back to Europe and the Dusseldorf School of Photography and Joachim Bröhm. So, it has developed over time – as you do more research, as you become more attuned to particular styles, and ways of thinking about using photography.

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

You are known for working in large format. Why do you use this, what are the challenges, and do you work in any other formats? My practice has changed over time. I started, like many people at the time, with the Canon AE-1 shooting black and white film. I moved to a Leica, a Bronica 645, Hasselblad 6x6, and a Mamiya 7, which is what I used when I travelled around Russia. When I came back to England, I decided to move up to a 5”x4” and shot that for about 6 or 7 years. In 2012, I switched to digital and started to shoot using a Phase One back and Cambo Actus with tilt and shift. I still have a Canon 5D and Mamiya 7 that I use for some work. It is not so much about the camera as the format, and what is the right frame, and then how you marry the end result with the production. For instance, in Russia there was no point shooting with a 4x5 because it would have been way too expensive and practically impossible to get hold of film and shoot in -50 °C. Which is why the Mamiya was best for that particular trip and way of working. Back in England I had more time, and more opportunities to work with the larger format. Shooting film at the time was better than shooting digital; now digital has become good enough for the prints that I need. In my projects detail is important; if you haven’t captured that clarity then it shows in the prints when viewed at large scale and much of the picture is lost.

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

That is one of the joys of photography

The unexpected can make images more interesting Many of your images are complex, and look like ‘constructed’ cinematic work (e.g. like Gregory Crewdson, Alex Prager etc). Are they all ‘straight’ images? I do not go into detail about how I make the picture. Generally speaking, I know beforehand which landscape I want to photograph or which event. Then it’s about doing the research, visiting and getting to know the landscape, framing the picture, and then waiting for something interesting to happen, while noticing the pattern in the frame. With the Election Project, in most instances I had contacted the politicians beforehand, because the work was under time pressure. For example, there is a picture of Esther Rantzen on the street talking with a group of people as she is lobbying her position and I am on a motorhome, overlooking that. I’ve planned the shot, so to some extent the whole thing is a construction in that she has told me where she is going to be, I’ve gone there, and they can see me on the roof with the camera. In a way they are collaborations. Do you have a clear idea of what you want? Or do you sometimes find yourself surprised? There is always an element of surprise. Definitely. But often I have a good idea of what I am looking for. It really depends on the work. My more recent work (in Switzerland) was planned in fine detail. You never know who is going to be there when you start taking the pictures; but a lot of it is predetermined. I have a clear idea of what I want the pictures to say, and then it’s about making that happen. Though, for ‘We English’ it was about a journey, so things just happened or you just came across locations with inherent surprises. That is one of the joys of photography. The unexpected can make images more interesting.

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

Your earlier work involved considerable travel, to Russia (Motherland and Polyarnye Nochi), Rwanda (Shooting Dogs), Palestine (The Hudna) for example, but more recent work is very UK focussed. Is there a reason for that? Yes, basically, I feel there is much work to be done here. It felt to me that although there are more and more photographers, there had been a lack of good work being made in Britain. Maybe that has changed in the last few years. But certainly, ten or twelve years ago there wasn’t a great deal that I felt was really saying as much as some of our photographic ancestors had. Yet so much was changing socially, politically, and economically that it felt paramount to me that someone recorded it. Not so much in a journalistic way but certainly in the way of a historic reference to key events, key movements, and changes, and how they manifested themselves in the British landscape. So how do you balance personal projects versus commissioned work or combining them? Some like Urban Parks and Election Project appear to have morphed into personal projects. About seventy percent of my work is self-generated and thirty percent is commissioned. I am always considering how a commission adds value to my oeuvre (my body of work). For example, the National Geographic work on Urban Parks was initially interesting. How they’ve changed over time and how this links to current issues, such as sustainability and urban planning, has extended it beyond the original commission of, say, 10 pictures into a wider body where I added another fifteen cities. Something like the Election Project was always going to fold into a bigger study of Britain, I just didn’t know when. So, most of the time there is a balance of pragmatism in taking commissions and also an element of - is it going to be a challenge? It is nice to push your artistic and creative boundaries. I did a commission for Bristol Royal Infirmary Hospital and most of the pictures were made to go in the hospital. Two or three years later, two of the pictures turned up in ‘Merrie Albion’, so they became part of a bigger thing. So, I think it’s always good to think about what the longevity of the work is going to be.

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

‘Merrie Albion’ is described as ‘landscape studies’ but goes beyond typical landscape photography. It could be construed as on boundaries of landscape and documentary. In fact, much of your work, has a message or intent. Is that important to you, more than, say, fitting any particular genre of photography? Yes, there is an element where the pictures should talk for themselves; for that reason, there is no text on the same page. However, providing the viewer with additional information to read a photograph, possibly in a different way, is always valuable. You read through the images. So, running through the course of the book, there is a series of extended texts, not just from myself but from others that provide context within which individual photographs can be placed; thereby offering a wider perspective on how these photographs sit and what happened. What can often be a bucolic scene, can actually have an underlying sense of tension or drama, that may not be apparent at first sight, so it offers the viewer with an opportunity to re-look with a different contextual framework. I’ve described the pictures as a “theatre of the real”; there is this sense that they are stage sets in which we enact notions of identity or ideas of gathering. What impact would you hope your images have on the viewer? … I guess I’d like them to look at them for longer than a nanosecond! At the end of the day we are easily distracted. Even for somebody who interacts with photography on a screen or sometimes even within an exhibition space, it’s very limited. Our periods of concentration have diminished over the years. There are so many demands on our attention. I like to see people really interact with the details in a photograph. So, by creating larger tableau scenes embedded with various narratives, I want to hold their attention for longer and leave the viewer with a few questions. Is that why you also tend to produce books? Yes, a book is an archival document. There’s a life there that you do not get in a magazine spread or in an exhibition; an intimacy you do not get online. You can sit with it. The tactile nature of turning a page, holding a book, and the smell, being able to flip backwards and forwards through the images, or moving from coated and uncoated pages; these are things that you think about in terms of how you want people to experience a book.

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

I’ve described the pictures as a “theatre of the real”; there is this sense that they are stage sets in which we enact notions of identity or ideas of gathering

So, what’s next? I normally have many things happening at once. Though, actually, ‘Merrie Albion’ was quite an all-consuming project at the end, when I decided I wanted to make a book. There is always the question about when something is finished. I could have continued to make pictures like I was about the British landscape for time immemorial. However, for me, Brexit was one of those seismic political events within my lifetime, which gave a point, where I felt there was an end. So, the book runs between the end of New Labour through the period of austerity and the banking crisis, for a decade up to Brexit. So, for me, that felt like a good period of time for that particular way of making work. So now I am in a position where I feel a bit liberated, in terms of what I do next and what I photograph. I do not want to be photographing the same things, so now I am in a position where I am exploring other avenues. Thank you for your insights.

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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Interview - Simon Roberts HonFRPS

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

The Green Ribbon

The Royal Photographic Society, in partnership with ‘The Photographic Angle’, offers two bursaries each year to support a photographic project that promotes awareness of the environment. The next round opens in February 2019, and details of the bursaries and previous winners can be found on the RPS website. In 2016, the winners of the Under 30 category were Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz and Carl Bigmore who collaborated on a major project about the Fennoscandian section of the European Green Belt. Möhkö, the eastern most village in Finland 30


The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz is a London based photographer whose work covers documentary, portraiture, and travel. Her personal work often focuses on stories about people and their topographical and historical connections to places, often on specific pathways across land. She also runs Photo Scratch, a bi-monthly night for documentary photographers to showcase workin-progress, understand how their work is perceived and gain valuable insight into how to take their work further with the benefit of other people’s outside eye. 31


The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

How would you describe The Green Ribbon project? For the past year and a half, I’ve been working on a major body of work about the European Green Belt, which is a chain of national parks, nature reserves and biospheres that runs along the former Iron Curtain borders, from north to south, across the continent of Europe. I was lucky enough to receive support for the first chapter from the Environmental Bursary awarded by The Royal Photographic Society and The Photographic Angle. The first section was initially made in collaboration with my colleague, Carl Bigmore. It later became clear his work was going in a different direction, but I’ve always been so enthralled and inspired by the idea that I was determined to continue making work along the other sections of the European Green Belt. For over four decades the continent was divided, and it was almost impossible for the average civilian to travel between the east and west. The border zone itself was a no-man’s land and, by accident, with little human intervention, the borders became an area of sanctuary for wildlife. At the end of the Cold War, when the borders became more open, a grassroots (though formal) pledge was made by the countries along the former Iron Curtain borders to form a cross-border initiative to protect these areas for wildlife conservation, and also to keep the peace. Though the phrase had appeared previously, the name “Iron Curtain” gained prominence after Winston Churchill’s 1946 Sinews of Peace speech when he said; “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.” The European Green Belt spans a further area from the Barents Sea within the Arctic Circle at the Northern reach of Norway, where it shares a border with Russia, all the way down the Black Sea.

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

On the Hel Peninsula, Poland

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

I’m preoccupied with the idea that land has memory, and that we as humans can read narrative into any scene. We are always looking for stories to make sense of the world we live in My motivation for this work was to explore the interplay between human activity and nature along the European Green Belt, to see how nature has reclaimed the land during and since the Cold War era. I’m preoccupied with the idea that land has memory, and that we as humans can read narrative into any scene. We are always looking for stories to make sense of the world we live in. I was completely fascinated and intrigued by the fact that so much natural beauty and wild abundance could flourish within land that is steeped in recent, violent, divisive history. At points, dotted along the route of the European Green Belt, I encountered human stories of civilians living in fear. They felt as though they lived double lives under Soviet rule, and this sense of tension I believe occurs throughout the Green Belt – the duality of flourishing wildlife juxtaposed with the violent past. With Brexit at the forefront of the news in Britain, I am interested in understanding more deeply what the idea of Europe really is. Are we all so different or the same? What are the qualities that bring us together or that divide us? These questions are not answered directly in the project, but they were certainly part of the fabric of the process of making the work. In the forest on the Hel Peninsula, Poland

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

What stage is the project at now? The project is finding its shape in terms of how it will be presented. I am working towards creating a book. The series documents my encounter with the European Green Belt, as opposed to an exhaustive archive of every inch of the route. So, there is accompanying text that will be woven throughout the sequencing of images, a combination of historical accounts and my own experiences, along with first-hand responses to these. My hope is it will be an immersive encounter with the history and present of the European Green Belt, from a personal and emotionally engaged perspective. As I’ve made the work over several different trips, I’ve been able to begin to sequence, edit and write as I’ve gone along, but now is the time where it’s all coming together. I recently completed the Balkan section of the European Green Belt so am in the process of scanning the final batch of films. I haven’t seen the final pictures yet, so fingers crossed there will be an appropriate photograph with which to end the series. I hope the book will both document the land and record a response to it.

The Baltic, from Poland

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

How did the idea for the project come about? I heard a passing mention of the European Green Belt in a brilliant design and architecture podcast I often listen to called ‘99% Invisible’. I had not long made some work about my Polish grandmother’s experiences in the Second World War, when she was a young freedom fighter in occupied Poland (a project which came to be exhibited at POSK in London, called ‘I Feel Every Stone of the Road’), and I had also spent time on a residency in Athens making work in response to the situation following the financial crash and the developing refugee crisis (see the project, ‘Half the House’). A line was emerging throughout my work, drawing me across European borders and a little off the beaten path. The term ‘European Green Belt’ refers to both the cross-border initiative between countries who agreed to formally recognise the symbolism and importance of the old border, and is also the name of the border itself. Administratively, it is divided into three sections; The Fennoscandian (which includes the Baltic section), the Central European, and the Balkan.

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Rüterberg, Germany


The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

Did you always know it was going to be such a large undertaking? The idea of the European Green Belt provided a compelling and clear set of parameters within which to work. I always knew I wanted to create work along the entirety of the Belt, but as someone still in the relatively early days of a hopefully lifelong practice, the hardest part was figuring out how to make it financially viable. I was incredibly lucky to have the support from The Royal Photographic Society and The Photographic Angle through their joint bursary focused on Environmental stories, which covered the costs of the first chapter. It was a vote of confidence in the idea as well as practical financial backing. I have also been grateful to have a collector invest in the project because they believed in the idea too. They took a chance on me and the work which enabled me to finish the entire route and I will always be grateful to them and the RPS. Trying to coax any kind of artistic or creative endeavour into existence is always challenging, particularly in today’s climate. Opportunities like those provided by the RPS are invaluable, and when they come your way it feels like a heavy door has suddenly swung open. Did you have a clear aim or outcome in mind for each part of the trip? How meticulous was the planning in terms of specific locations you wanted to visit and the images you wanted to capture? My background in theatre making has led me to approach my personal photography work in a similar way. I research extensively, and then establish the parameters within which to encounter and photograph. I knew that I’d be following the route of the former Iron Curtain, and I carried out research as to which sites had historic significance. However, I’m interested in the personal encounter with place as much as what the history books tell us. As I work, I meet each place and person with a similar feeling of openness, to hear and see what the site or person is communicating, regardless of the historical significance of a place. I like to read up a lot on a subject, have conversations, and then get on and photograph; almost trying to absorb as much information as possible, forget it all, and photograph instinctively.

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

I like to read up a lot on a subject, have conversations, and then get on and photograph; almost trying to absorb as much information as possible, forget it all, and photograph instinctively

How did the title The Green Ribbon come about? I was walking alone around a lake, right on the former Inner German Border, which is a protected biosphere today. This lake was the site of attempts to escape from East to West, with civilians hiding in the marshes, and sometimes being caught and killed by the border guards. One of the information boards explained the significance of the site in relation to the European Green Belt, which it described as a ribbon of land across Europe. When I began the work in the far North of Norway and Finland, I saw the Northern Lights almost every night for two weeks. They were completely mesmerizing; nothing like what I had expected. Somehow photography does not do them justice. When I saw them, they looked like rippling ribbons of soft green light dancing across the sky. In the moments of seeing the Northern Lights I felt like it was easy to believe that mysterious things like angels and magic exist, if only momentarily, and that sense of wonder has stayed with me throughout the process. Some months later, when I read the information board in Germany that spoke of a green ribbon, I felt this could be a fitting title for the work.

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

Sevettijärvi, Finland

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre, Latvia

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

You co-founded Photo Scratch, with Phil Le Gal, how did that come about and how is it organised? Photo Scratch involves a group of six to eight photographers previewing a project in an incomplete state. These photographers are selected in advance based on informal applications. Each photographer is given a wall space to display their work in any way they see fit (rough prints, contact sheets, annotations, captions, text, projection etc). The audience, consisting of other photographers, people within the industry, and anyone who is interested, are then welcome to discuss the work and leave written feedback for each project. This valuable written feedback is then kept by each photographer for future reference. The ethos of the night is to continue the approach nurtured by Paul Lowe at the London College of Communication on the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course. It is a chance for photographers at many different stages of their careers to meet and have open dialogues about their practice in a supportive environment, in order to make meaningful connections, and stronger work. The idea of a Scratch night is borrowed from a process developed at the Battersea Arts Centre many years ago, a constructive way of theatre makers testing out their ideas in front of a responsive audience. www.hannakatrina.co.uk Instagram: www.instagram.com/hannakatrina_photo

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

Lab technician and field research assistant in Oulanka Research Station, Finland

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The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

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Rummu quarry, Estonia


The Green Ribbon - Hanna-Katrina Jędrosz

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#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

#Lastpole Expeditio Ice Warrior’s Quest for the Arctic Pole of Inaccessibility Jhy Turley ARPS 48


#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

on

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#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

Photography became a passion for me after a trip to Nepal trekking to Kala Patthar – a peak which overlooks Everest base camp. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but this adventure inspired a thirst in me for both adventure and photography. Following this trip, I really started to learn how to take photographs; not just technically but also conceptually. Photography became a tool for me to explore and discover. It allows me to see the world and document it. On returning from Nepal, I sat and looked through the 14 rolls of film I’d taken and decided I needed to find my next challenge. This was in 2006. I discovered Jim McNeill, and The Ice Warrior Project, while randomly searching the internet looking for something different that would push my boundaries. Jim is a veteran polar explorer. His experience spans 35 years, starting in the army. He was Sir Ranulph Fiennes polar consultant, trained BBC crew members on Blue planet, as well as serving as a firefighter. He also still has all his fingers and toes! Pretty good proof of his ability to operate in the harshest conditions on the planet. His mission with Ice Warrior is to take everyday people and train them to be polar explorers, before embarking on an expedition. However, these are not just adventurous journeys for the sake of adventure. There is always a scientific or environmental aspect to them. At the end of 2016, I decided it was time for me to apply to join the team for #LASTPOLE. Many people are unaware that there are 4 north poles; Geographic, Magnetic, and Geomagnetic North and, finally, The Arctic Pole of Inaccessibility. It is this fourth pole that #LASTPOLE aims to reach. The expedition is named as such because this Pole is the last truly significant place in the Arctic that man has yet to reach. You can’t simply buy a place on this expedition, turn up, train, and head into the Arctic. As a team member, we have to raise all the funds to cover training and the expedition. Our team is made up of an incredibly diverse bunch of people that include doctors, a data Scientist, designers, an engineer, a teacher, a researcher, a property entrepreneur, and a hotelier. These people come from all over the globe: India, Holland, Mexico, Scotland, England, Wales, Germany, and France.

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#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

Jhy on Core Skills Training - Photo by Jim McNeill Expedition Leader

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#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

Ice Warrior Lastpole Route

First Aid Training - Core Skills Dartmoor - May 2018 52


#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

The expedition will leave from Cape Isachsen, on Ellef Ringnes Island in the northern territories of Canada, and head out on to the frozen ocean towards 85°48’N, 176°09’W, the Arctic Pole of Inaccessibility, defined as the point on the Arctic Ocean that is farthest from any land. The journey consists of 4 legs, each covering 200 miles of the 800-mile journey. For 10 hours a day, for 20 days, each team of eight will man-haul everything they need to survive. Along the way, we will collect data to be used by our scientific partners, which include the NSIDC (National Snow and Ice Data Centre), NASA, and the Met Office. I originally joined the team for a great adventure, but it’s evolved into so much more. Meeting new people, learning new skills, and learning more about myself and who I am, has enriched the experience more than I could have imagined. This year has been spent focusing on the core skills we need; camp craft, navigation, rope work, first aid, and researching the Arctic region. The next step will be to head out to Svalbard (one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas, an archipelago on the tip of Norway) where we will put all these skills into practice, developing and refining them. Fundraising is also a hugely time-consuming activity, but vital to both raise the funds and also spread the word about the expedition.

Team members practice using pulleys - Core Skills Dartmoor - May 2018 53


#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

Team member during navigation training - Core Skills Dartmoor - May 2018

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#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

Team members practice putting up the team tent - Core Skills Dartmoor - November 2018

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#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

Trying to document the process whilst actively taking part is also new to me I’ve always been an onlooker, so this is a new and difficult aspect of my photography This is also an exciting photographic opportunity that I’m trying to embrace fully. In the past, I’ve always used DSLRs, but this equipment is heavy and bulky. Weight is going to be a major factor for us. As a result, I’ve started to experiment with compact and smaller equipment. The harsh conditions are going to be really challenging for the equipment. I’ve already broken one new camera while on navigation training in Dartmoor! Trying to document the process while actively taking part is also new to me. I’ve always been an onlooker, so this is a new and difficult aspect of my photography. I’m not going to be able to have too much of a plan, whereas I usually like to think about what kind of shots I want to capture. Training trips to Svalbard are going to be vital for me to experiment, and to learn how to integrate taking photos while also concentrating on the tasks at hand. I’m not sure how I will use the images, or what I will be able to capture. I’d like to somehow tell the story of the immense effort and human endurance it takes to gather such vital environmental data. Although I don’t normally do much landscape photography, the landscape is going to be very important to the story I tell. The Arctic is changing so rapidly. Just this year it was reported that “the Arctic’s oldest, thickest sea ice is ‘breaking up’ for the first time in recorded history”. You can find out more from the expedition website: www.lastpole.co.uk If you would like to support me please visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ jhy-turley www.jhyturley.com

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#Lastpole Expedition - Jhy Turley ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

Unbroken - a wo Mark A Phillips ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

orld of repair

Sustainability is a global issue, but much of our current focus is on the ‘visible’: the plastic waste in our oceans, piles of landfill, and challenges in recycling waste. However, use of our earth’s resources and its impact on climate are more significant: recycling only recovers a fraction of the resources consumed and can potentially create even more toxic waste. Making products from more sustainable sources that last longer (through repair, reuse and refurbishment) has the potential to make a substantial impact. This project, therefore, takes a constructive, or ‘solutions’, approach to this global issue; to identify and shed a light on repairers and solution providers. Repairers, the unsung heroes, make a significant contribution to reducing the impact of ‘things’, but our ability to do this is faltering, driven by a combination of lack of knowledge, lost skills, product design that inhibits repair, and legal frameworks that make it difficult to set up independent repair shops. 59


Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

The first part of this project focusses on what, to a large extent, we have lost in the ‘West’: the ability to make do, to mend, and to re-use. A combination of consumerism and hermetic design have created a cycle of ever-increasing resource usage and waste generation. However, the art and ingenuity of repair still exists in many places, often considered the ‘Poor World’. The opening part of this project revisits these lost capabilities and those repairing and reusing things often ‘cast off’ by the West. This part aims to remind us of that lost capability and to highlight opportunities to re-learn. The inspiration for this project came from a visit to Cuba (for an academic conference) and a chance encounter. Then over several years and visits, repairers were identified across wider Havana, and in outlying districts such as La Lisa. To better understand repair culture, and capability, visits were then made to other locations, notably Ghana.

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

Cuba and the never-ending life of things At 10am, almost on the dot, Javier opens the gate to the small repair kiosk on Calle Luz in Habana Vieja. The simple workshop houses a counter, a repair area and an equipment store. As soon as the canopy is opened customers arrive and business is brisk. Locals bring electric fans, cookers for rice and food mixers. All the items are many years old and look like they have been repaired many times over. For the typical Cuban this is normal. Imported goods are hard to get and very expensive. Keeping what you have working, is essential. The kiosk, run by Ivan Marzo Rodriguez with his small team of workers, provides a repair service for the local community in southern Habana Vieja. They repair a range of domestic electrical appliances. Work is often carried out on the spot, using spares from the store rooms. The spares are invariably parts cannibalised from unrepairable items and stored in old metal cabinets. Sometimes there are no spares, so new components may be fashioned or adapted from a different make or model or made from scratch. The repairs are all recorded in a large notebook, which acts as a register. Usually these repairs are given a 3-month guarantee complete with a guarantee card. The owner, Ivan, was originally taught electrical engineering in Magnitogorsk, in the former Soviet Union in 1983 where he spent 4 years as an Engineering Assistant before returning to Cuba. In 2000, he began his own repair business. He is one of 14 children, four of whom are in the repair business, so it is something of a family tradition. He is proud of his car, and like nearly all Cuban vehicles it is subject to ongoing repairs and refurbishments. Ivan has two workers who help him in his workshop, Javier Segur and Ejidio. His older brother, Isidoro, also has an electrical repair business some miles away in Cerro, which he started in 2005. Ivan and his wife, Iraida, have two daughters and a son, also called Ivan. His son, Ivan, has a thriving repair business on San Ignacio, about ten blocks from his father’s workshop. There he does domestic electrical repairs, having been taught by his father since he was 12 years old. He has now run his own business for 5 years and has also taken on his own apprentice, Ariel, as the business has grown.

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

Some two miles East, Modesto Zayas Gonzales repairs umbrellas (sombrillos), from his corridor workshop next to his home, where he lives with his wife Ameila and her mother, on Pocito, in Centro Habana. He has been repairing since 2000. Like many other repairers his ‘spares’ come from cannibalised parts, removed from umbrellas deemed beyond repair. As I speak to him, he wields a blue umbrella, twisted, the canopy is largely separated from the frame and the stretchers separated from the rib. Modesto waves the umbrella around as he describes his business. Behind him are collections of umbrellas in various states of repair. Most often a joint has broken, which he easily repairs by re-stitching between the rib and the stretcher. But occasionally stretchers or ribs are bent, then his stock of ‘spares’ comes in handy.

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

On Calle Bernaza, in Habana Vieja, for several days a week you can find Yalisan Diaz Zomora sitting on the street side, close to a vegetable stall. The gregarious Yalisan is self-taught and repairs lighters. Like other ‘fosforeros’ that ply this trade, he works from a small portable table, covered in parts and tools. These cheap lighters are often considered disposable in the West, but in Cuba they are modified, repurposed, refuelled and reused. Repairs are undertaken using a range of cannibalised parts from old lighters plus basic items like sewing pins, replacement flints and fuel. The tools used are simple: a file, some tweezers, scissors and pliers. He repairs many lighters for a nominal charge. He sometimes provides kids with ‘firecrackers‘, fashioned from unrepairable lighters and a little fuel, which when thrown on the ground will explode. When not repairing lighters Yalisan is a sometime local hip-hop musician. As he sits at his workplace, often with headphones on, he listens to background tracks over which he writes his lyrics and offers impromptu performances.

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

Ghana making better use of ’used’ Further exploration of repair culture, in Ghana, centred on the capital Accra and surrounding districts. Accra has a well-developed economy but has also figured in the politics of waste and recycling. It was identified in a 2008 Greenpeace report, as a major ‘dumping ground’ for US and European e-waste (e.g. electronic waste from TVs, consumer electronics, PC and mobile phones) and one area, Agbogbloshie, locally described as ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’, was like a scene from Dante’s inferno, as locals attempted to recover copper and other metals by burning off the insulation. More positively, there is a growing repair economy in and around the landfill site, and investment in a new recycling and repair training centre. In Agbogbloshie there are workshops casting new cooking pots from recovered aluminium, and in the process saving 95% of the energy that would be used to fashion them from raw material. At the edge of the site a local bicycle repair shop does brisk business as bikes remain an important form of transport for this community. Ibrahim works on a bike with broken spokes, broken pedals, and no brakes and in less than two hours it is repaired and functional. The repair activities here are intimately intertwined with the local community, providing important services, and that extend the importance of repair beyond the physical. Ghana has a thriving repair and recycling economy, many second-hand goods are exported from Europe, via the container port of Tema, and distributed across West Africa. There are districts, such as Abosseyokai, that specialise in stripping old and imported cars to create spares and recycle the materials. Other areas, notably in and around Tema, specialise in refurbishing imported second-hand white goods, especially fridges and freezers and TVs. It is explained to me, by one workshop, that many of these goods arrive damaged beyond repair simply because they were packaged so badly! Mobile phone repairers can be found all around Accra, from purpose-built workshops serving newer, high-end models to pop-up street side stalls. At such a stall, Achilles (a young Nigerian) offers to replace the screen and repair a Samsung phone for 45 cedi (around £7.50). His tools include recognisable items such as small screwdrivers, a jimmy and a soldering iron but also include a toothbrush, a razor blade and an old speaker (with its magnet used to hold the tiny screws). He keeps cool using a repurposed fan, that once cooled the inside of a desktop PC.

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

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Feature - Unbroken - Mark A Phillips ARPS

Next Steps The overall project will explore ‘repair’ from three perspectives: this first part takes a cultural perspective where the practice has not (yet) been lost or forgotten. The second (ongoing) part explores from a European ecosystem and capabilities perspective, with municipalities and community groups educating and re-teaching the public about repair and building new communities. Working with community groups, such as Repair Café and the Restart Project, provides access to the network of repairers - an opportunity to share ideas and information, and to help promote each other’s work. The final part of the project is looking at the issue from a design perspective and those creating products for a more repairable and longer lasting future. This is proving a little more challenging! The overall aim is to shed a light on some opportunities, and those providing solutions, so we can make better use of what we have and build more sustainable approaches. For more information on the project see: www.markaphillips.co.uk or follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/markaphill

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Events 11 January 2019

06 February 2019

York sub-group meeting

The 2019 Hurter & Driffield memorial lecture - London Region

Regular meeting of the York Documentary sub-group. rps.org/events/2019/january/11/ documentary-group---york-sub-groupmeeting

Anthony Geffen: ‘From Attenborough to Hawking, the challenges of pioneering immersive storytelling in VR and AR’. rps.org/events/2019/february/06/2019hurter--driffield-memorial-lecture

17 January 2019 Northern sub-group meeting Regular meeting of the Documentary sub-group.

Northern

http://rps.org/special-interest-groups/ documentary/documentary-northern 26 January 2019 East Midlands sub-group meeting The first meeting of the East Midlands Contemporary Group in conjunction with the Documentary Group. Includes a talk by Mark A Phillips ARPS. rps.org/events/2019/january/26/eastmidlands-contemporary-group---firstmeeting 27 January 2019 South East sub-group meeting A chance to discuss our group project “A Little Bit of England” and to discuss which images to include in a book/ exhibition/on-line gallery. rps.org/events/2019/january/27/southeast-documentary-group-meeting

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08 March 2019 York sub-group meeting Regular meeting of the York Documentary sub-group. rps.org/events/2019/march/08/ documentary-group---york-sub-groupmeeting 17 March 2019 South East sub-group meeting Jo Teasdale FRPS will be talking about her conceptual project “My Adopted Family�. A mediative and tactile series, using personal and historical objects to explore memories, inheritance and identity. After coffee/tea there will be a review of new work by members. rps.org/events/2019/march/17/southeast-documentary-group-meeting 21 March 2019 Northern sub-group meeting Regular meeting of the Documentary sub-group.

Northern

http://rps.org/special-interest-groups/ documentary/documentary-northern 30 March 2019

30 March 2019

East Midlands sub-group meeting

A day with Magnum photographer Martin Parr HonFRPS - South Wales Region

The regular meeting of the East Midlands Contemporary Group in conjunction with the Documentary Group. This meeting will feature sharing and discussing each others work. rps.org/events/2019/march/30/eastmidlands-contemporary-groupmeeting

Full details of the day are at the link below. rps.org/events/2019/ march/30/a-day-with-magnumphotographer-martin-parr-honfrps

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Members’ Images

Members’ Images Valerie Mather LRPS

David Gleave LRPS

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Members’ Images

Nicole Condit-Duncan

Gary Jones LRPS

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Members’ Images - Valerie Mather LRPS

Valerie Mather LRPS Anti-Trump Protest I was drawn to photograph the protest march in July this year because of the unprecedented level of opposition by people in Britain to Donald Trump on his first visit to Britain as US President. I asked many people why they were protesting and was struck by the very different reasons. Whatever their age, gender, race, class, political or sexual persuasion, they were united against one man. Their collective anger was not just about politics, but also about current social and moral issues. Together, they make a compelling argument. The images that I have submitted, focus on individuals among the many thousands who marched that day. My aim is to show that these are real people, with genuine concerns, not simply a mob wanting to protest for the sake of protest itself. To convey the human element of the protest, I focused on individual protestors marching along Regent Street. Marching with the protesters enabled me to see and experience the emotions aroused in the demonstrators by the orchestrated chanting, shouting and playing of musical instruments. www.valeriematherphotography.co.uk

Dump Trump Baby The protest had a very positive atmosphere, despite bringing together thousands of people who, on the face of it, had nothing else in common. I wanted an image to capture the good humour of the day. The directness of the baby’s stare, his pointing arm, as if he understood what he was protesting, along with the juxtaposition of the full nappy and the Trump stinks mask, made me smile.

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Members’ Images - Valerie Mather LRPS

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Members’ Images - Valerie Mather LRPS

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Members’ Images - Valerie Mather LRPS

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Members’ Images - Valerie Mather LRPS

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Members’ Images - Valerie Mather LRPS

Message for my President The very personal messages made by these children, and the one little girl on the left refusing to be photographed (hiding behind her “hear me roar� sign) contrasting with the other little girl staring defiantly into the lens, made me take this shot.

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Members’ Images - Valerie Mather LRPS

Police appreciation

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After the rally


Members’ Images - Valerie Mather LRPS

Police appreciation Police had been drafted in from around the country and all leave had been cancelled. Initially (and understandably) the police were tense and unapproachable, so this was a nice moment when a protester stepped out from the march simply to thank the young officer. The officer, at first reluctant, then sensing this was genuine, accepted the handshake on offer and permitted himself a smile. After the rally These two women reminded me more of the aftermath of a rock concert than a demonstration, only the abandoned protest signs and the Mexican hat and “we are all immigrants� T-shirt suggested other-wise. Homeless against Trump Along the route, I came across this homeless man joining in from his spot on the pavement. It seems everyone objects to Donald Trump.

Homeless against Trump

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Members’ Images - Nicole Condit-Duncan

Nicole Condit-Duncan SABUTO Cooperative, Kenya While in Kenya in April this year, we visited the SABUTO cooperative. It was founded by the women of three warring nomadic tribes to put aside ancient grudges, so their children could have a more secure future. They’ve opened a shared school for the children, bought property so that they will have homes and created a beading business that has international reach thanks to their connection with the Segera Retreat. The visit by our group, which included broadcasters, activists, and artists, was, therefore, in a small way an opportunity to help make life better for this community. Over time, I have become very uncomfortable with the community visits included in so many trips. While it is an economic lift to these villages, especially to women who are seeking ways to become financially secure, I don’t feel like I connect in the way I do when I just wander around. It feels forced, voyeuristic, and staged. I can’t imagine random strangers coming in to my home and taking photos of my kids to show everyone back at home. Poverty tourism seems like a modern version of colonial thinking. Almost on cue, a young boy approached as soon as we arrived and asked me to take his picture. But a conversation with Alison Baskerville at the Documentary Group workshop in March was running around in my head. It went something like “Why fly me around the world when a local photographer can do the job?” I had a flash of insight and handed my camera to the boy and told him he should take the pictures and show me how he sees his friends. What transpired was one of the most joyful hours I can remember. The children posed for each other, arranged and directed each other. They took pictures of their mothers dancing and of us playing. We were both drawn in to the story and allowed to see the world as they see it. It was, perhaps, the best morning I have ever had while travelling, and has left me thinking about how to be more creative in my projects so they create connections. 86


Members’ Images - Nicole Condit-Duncan

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Members’ Images - Nicole Condit-Duncan

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Members’ Images - Nicole Condit-Duncan

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Members’ Images - Nicole Condit-Duncan

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Members’ Images - Nicole Condit-Duncan

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Members’ Images - Nicole Condit-Duncan

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Members’ Images - Nicole Condit-Duncan

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Members’ Images - David Gleave LRPS

David Gleave LRPS Colombo, Sri Lanka I went to Sri Lanka in December 2017, with some idea of what to expect as I’d been to India in the previous January. That was why I returned and will continue to do so. It’s everything a (people) photographer could want and more. The colours, the people, the vibrancy of a life lived outside. This is obviously a very small selection of the 977 images I made while I was there. This is an ongoing project/series so I’m only just scratching the surface at this stage. The highlight for me was a train journey from Ella to Kandy; six hours at 20 miles per hour through beautiful changing countryside with food being served by a constant stream of sellers. What I saw from that train will be the basis of my next trip. This time, I concentrated on the hustle & bustle of the streets and the markets, whereas next time I will focus on rural life. From the train I saw some timeless images of people and animals working in fields. I definitely intend to spend a lot more time there. More images from Sri Lanka can be seen at: www.pbase.com/ northernfacephoto/colombo_dec_2017 www.davidgleavephoto.com

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Members’ Images - David Gleave LRPS

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Members’ Images - David Gleave LRPS

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Members’ Images - David Gleave LRPS

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Members’ Images - David Gleave LRPS

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Members’ Images - David Gleave LRPS

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Members’ Images - David Gleave LRPS

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Members’ Images - David Gleave LRPS

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Members’ Images - Gary Jones LRPS

Gary Jones LRPS On the 15th day of the seventh lunar month each year, according to Chinese culture, all ghosts come from back from Hell. Performers from the Chaozhou Opera hold open-air performances on makeshift bamboo stages around Hong Kong in what is known as the Hungry Ghost (or Yulan) festival. People offer sacrifices, usually in the form of food, burnt incense, and ‘Hell Money’ - a form of joss paper resembling real bank notes. These are intended for their ancestors, as well as wandering ghosts, to use in the afterlife. The open-air performances entertain these spirits. Chaozhou Opera is one of the principal genres of Chinese opera, more commonly known as Chiuchow in Hong Kong. The dialect of Chiuchow dates back over 1500 years and is popular in the regions of Eastern Guangdong and Southern Fujian. Armed with various film and digital cameras, I have been climbing the rickety wooden stairs into the backstage dressing area of these performances for 3 or 4 years to capture these friendly performers as they get ready to take to the stage. Some of the performers now recognise me and are a little more welcoming. While I’ve never been scared of sticking a lens in a stranger’s face, I’m trying to stand back more adopting a reportage style rather than my usual portrait approach. I’ve come to realise over the years, that it’s important to make a record of these traditions in Hong Kong, as they are disappearing rapidly. I’ve recently had a book published with author Lindsay Varty, ‘Sunset Survivors’, which tells the stories of Hong Kong’s traditional crafts, small businesses and industries which are slowly being forced out of business due to modernisation. www.gazjonesphoto.com

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Backstage Chaozhou


Members’ Images - Gary Jones LRPS

e glimpses at the Hungry Ghost Festival’s u Opera Shows

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Members’ Images - Gary Jones LRPS

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Members’ Images - Gary Jones LRPS

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Members’ Images - Gary Jones LRPS

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Members’ Images - Gary Jones LRPS

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Members’ Images - Gary Jones LRPS

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Members’ Images - Gary Jones LRPS

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Exhibition - 209 Women

‘209 Women’ is a national, artist-led project to celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage and champion the visibility of women, particularly in environments that are still largely maledominated. A collective of 209 female photographers, from across the UK, volunteered their time to make and mark history. To celebrate the 100 years since some women achieved the right to vote, they created new portraits of all 209 female Members of Parliament (MPs). These images are displayed in a free public exhibition in the parliamentary offices at Portcullis House. It opened on the 14 December – 100 years to the day since the first women cast their votes in the 1918 general election. The exhibition fills the walls of the first-floor gallery, but it’s worth noting that even just a few years ago there wouldn’t have been enough female MPs for the portraits to reach half way round. This highlights how much progress has been made even though there is much more to achieve. The 209 Women portraits have certainly inspired the exhibition visitors, as well as those seeing the images in the press and on social media. The MPs worked with the photographers to create pictures that conveyed their identities, their role in the community, and in parliament. They are pictured around the Houses of Parliament, at their own homes and in other significant locations. The exhibition encompasses a diverse range of styles and approaches showcasing the talent working in the UK today. We can’t begin to do it justice here but the visitors’ notes from the 209 Women website give a fantastic insight into the process and what it means to those who were involved.

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Exhibition - 209 Women

Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, by Hilary Wood ARPS

“The idea for the exhibition came from my own experiences of gender inequality. I’ve worked mainly in male-dominated fields for the past 18 years. I’ve got two daughters and I wanted to be part of changing things so that they grow up in a society that is more gender equal. Since 1918, 4,503 men have been elected to the UK parliament - compared to just 491 women. On the centenary year of women’s suffrage, I wanted to celebrate how far we’ve come, but I also want to bring awareness to continued gender inequality by championing the visibility of women in power. This exhibition will bring visibility to those women that are part of making the fundamental changes to women’s equality.” Hilary Wood ARPS, founder and curator

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Exhibition - 209 Women

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne Central, by Tereza Červeňová

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Exhibition - 209 Women

The 209 Women project has proved to be immensely popular, with the Friday viewing slots for the exhibition being fully booked within days of tickets being released. The Visit Parliament team are looking to add more dates before the scheduled close on the 14 February 2019. All is not lost, however, as the exhibition then moves to the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, starting with a public launch event on 28 February. The exhibition then runs from 1 March to 14 April 2019. If you cannot get to the exhibition, then you can see a range of the work via the 209 Women social media channels and dive into see more work by the photographers involved from the website: www.209women.co.uk/photographers. It is also still possible to support the project by becoming a patron and by engaging in the conversation that the exhibition is intended to provoke: to explore why gender remains a barrier in the workplace, politics and society. www.209women.co.uk twitter.com/209Women www.instagram.com/209women

The Parliamentary Art Collection Wandering off the main circuit, tucked away in the corners of Portcullis House are examples of the artwork that normally adorns these walls. Traditional portraits of parliamentary figures certainly feature in the Parliamentary Art Collection, but you might be surprised to find contemporary work such as ‘Through our public collections we all own art’ by Bob and Roberta Smith, celebrating the launch of Art UK. RPS members were invited to become involved in documenting UK sculpture for the project earlier in 2018. On an adjoining wall was Adam Dant’s ‘The Government Stable’, from his commission as the official 2015 General Election Artist; a role Simon Roberts HonFRPS held in 2010 whose work from that project you can see elsewhere in this edition. 113


Exhibition - 209 Women

Rosie Duffield, MP for Canterbury, by Alice Zoo

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Exhibition - 209 Women

Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point, by Reme Campos

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100 Years On

11 November 201 100 years on

Remembrance Sunday 2018 by Graham Wilson

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100 Years On

Following the Documentary Group’s project to mark 100 years since the start of WWI (www.dvj-war.photography/WW1) we invited everyone to create one documentary image on Sunday, November 11, 2018. The project is a chance to compare the world we live in with that of 100 years ago showing what has changed and what has carried on untouched. The images can be viewed online in the Gallery section of the RPS website: Documentary-Group-Project---One-Hundred-Years-On

100 white doves of peace by Simon Maddison LRPS

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The Documentary Group focuses on photography which chronicles everyday life in the broadest possible way, as well as topical events and photography which preserves the present for the future, through both individual images and documentary ‘stories’. It is typically found in professional photojournalism, real life reportage, but importantly for us it is an amateur, artistic, or academic pursuit. The photographer attempts to produce truthful, objective, and usually candid photography of a particular subject, often of people.

Facebook

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Flickr

Instagram

Twitter


Members form a dynamic and diverse group of photographers globally who share a common interest in documentary and street photography. We welcome photographers of all skill levels and offer members a diverse programme of workshops, photoshoots, longer-term projects, a prestigious Documentary Photographer of the Year (DPoTY) competition, exhibitions, and a quarterly online journal ‘The Decisive Moment’. In addition to our AGM and members get-together we have an autumn prize-giving for the DPoTY incorporating a members social day. Some longer-term collaborative projects are in the pipeline for the future. Additionally, we have an active Flickr group and Facebook page. Overseas members pay £5 per annum for Group membership rather than the £10 paid by UK based members. The Documentary Group is always keen to expand its activities and relies on ideas and volunteer input from its members. If you’re not a member come and join us. Find us on the RPS website at: http://www.rps.org/special-interest-groups/ documentary/about/dvj-membership

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Why not a shampoo - Philip Joyce ARPS

www.rps.org/special-interest-groups/documentary

Profile for Documentary Group, Royal Photographic Society

RPS The Decisive Moment - Edition 14 - December 2018