Monday, August 22, 2011

NEW: Rwanda work up on the website

These images and more from the series can now be seen here on the website. They tell the story of Beatrice and her family who live in the mainly rural district of Shingiro in northern Rwanda, close to the border with Uganda and the DRC. Beatrice contends with bringing up a family of six children with no electricity and limited access to water, by farming the land in a mainly female co-operative. Through the work of the charity ActionAid she has been able to organise the village and take a lead role in the co-operative, whilst the local school, built by ActionAid, has meant a better chance for her children.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rwanda - village girl

I tried consciously to avoid taking this kind of photo whilst working in Africa earlier this year. But something about this girls' facial expression meant I broke my own rule.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rough Scan: Street

This was a street snap shot earlier this year on Oxford Street in London, it was taken with a Rolleiflex. If you're into street photography (and Rollei's) then it might be worthwhile checking out the Vivian Maier exhibition that's currently on at Photofusion in Brixton (runs until 16th September 2011) - it's pretty inspiring stuff.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rough Scan: Boy with Balloons, Turkey

I so wish this neg was sharp, sadly it's not. Think I shot it at about 1/4 sec and the focus is just out - could have been nice.

Aldwych, aftermath of a V1 attack, World War Two

This photo as always intrigued me. My grandmother used to keep it flat in an envelope tucked inside a book on gardening, and for may years it stayed there hidden away on a shelf. After seeing the project 'The Consequences of Vegance' by the photographer Chris Floyd, and my friend Andrew Youngson's recent project 'Soldbuch', I was inspired to dig out the photo and have a proper look. Both projects delve into personal histories of the photographers and their families, relating to the war and events that have shaped them, whilst revisiting the ground where the events took place. I started to realise that the picture showed a moment in time when my own very existence itself had hung in the balance. My grandma had been working in a building on Aldwych when the V1 rocket struck.

The V1 or to give it its full name the Vergeltungswaffe 1, which translates as 'retaliation weapon', was often referred to in the UK by it's much less threatening nickname, the 'doodlebug'. It was simple, yet deadly; the rocket would run until its fuel ran out and then the engine noise would stop and the bomb would fall. My grandma distinctly remembers hearing the rocket overhead, the buzzing, whining engine and then the deathly anticipation when the engines cut and everyone held their breadth knowing that it was on it's way down. That warning gave her enough time to shelter under a table before the explosion ripped through the building, blowing out windows and sending masonry, glass and debris in every direction. At the time 46 people were reported to have died, but the area was sealed of for a numbers of days, probably in part due to the sensitive ministries and departments caught up in the attack, including the air ministry, the figure of 200 dead is now seen as more realistic.

A photo of the attack moments after the bomb struck, taken from the direction of Fleet Street

For a number of years whilst studying at the University of Kings College London I walked past the same spot where this bomb struck without ever realising it, nor understanding the significance of that day, and how it could have turned out so very differently.

I find the picture itself fascinating and I was reminded of it recently when seeing the riot footage on the television and in the newspapers. There's something about seeing the very heart of urban life so heavily disrupted and thrown out of joint - it makes you realise the fragile nature of society we live in and how quickly and easily things can be turned on their head. It's a picture that seems to hold a thousand different stories. Below are some details from the image.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rough Scan: Ichbolay, Guatemala

Shot in the village of Ichbolay, whilst on assignment in Guatemala back in May.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Brixton Riots 07/08/2011

Shot this in the early ours of this morning on Effra Road, Brixton. I arrived a bit late to see the full on riot but I did see the tail end of the looters making their escape from Curry's. In the shot above a girl is caught in the beam of a police helicopter as she sits on an upturned rubbish bin. A line of riot police stand guard across the road in the distance. I'm hoping the madness isn't going to continue, but I fear last night was only the beginning.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Deir al-Zour, Syria, during happier times

I was in the Syrian city of Deir al-Zour around this time four years ago. It's horrible to think what the citizens of that city are now facing as their own government send tanks against them - my thoughts go out to them.

In the photo above children jump off a bridge into the mighty Euphrates river.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Portrait: Micah Lester

Here's an outtake from a week long assignment with Micah Lester back in April.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Clifton Mansions: Final night

These were snapped a few weeks ago during the final night of Brixtons' Clifton Mansions operating as a squat. The send off was overrun after somebody posted it on facebook apparently.

Tearsheet: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Recent portrait of Elham Al-Qasimi I had used in Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper.