From Samaritans to prosthetic limbs

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Phillip Job

Photography students seek to reveal the world around them for their final projects on the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course.

Ivan Vanjic

On 11 July 1995, the UN safe-zone of Srebrenica, with its mainly Bosnian Muslim population, was surrendered to the advancing Serb forces.

Men from the age of 14 to 65 were separated from the women, who were transported to Muslim-controlled land. Aware of the developing situation, hundreds of men headed to the surrounding mountains in search of cover and safe passage to friendly territory in the city of Tuzla.

However, the refugee convoy was ambushed by the Serb forces.

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Ivan Vranjic

It has been 22 years since the fall of the Srebrenica enclave. Many never returned to Srebrenica because of the remaining hostilities between the Serb and Bosnian Muslim population.

Ivan Vanjic photographed those who have. Ramiz, one of the survivors of the so-called “march of death”, returned to his family home.

Upon his return, Ramiz set out to explore the surrounding woodlands in search of the remains of his fallen father and brothers.

His family was later found in one of the many mass graves surrounding Srebrenica.

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Ivan Vranjic

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Ivan Vranjic

Many are still missing and many will never be found.

Jelca Kollatsch

Millions of people worldwide are in need of prosthetic limbs, with a large proportion of these individuals living in developing countries.

Jelca Kollatsch’s project aims to shed light on this issue.

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Jelca Kollatsch

She investigates the current situation of individuals in need of prosthetic limbs, the hopes of 3D printing technology and whether it is the answer to the mobility and independence problems currently experienced.

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Jelca Kollatsch

In Uganda, 25-year old Joan lost her leg because of lack of emergency infrastructure after a traffic accident.

She had difficulty affording an adequate prosthesis, so was forced to walk with crutches.

However, thanks to her participation in a trial study, she is being fitted with a good standard prosthesis.

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Jelca Kollatsch

Like Joan, 13-year-old Jessy also lost his leg in a traffic accident.

However, despite their poverty, his grandmother managed to organise good quality prosthesis for him. He is now also participating in the 3D printing study.

Katie Waggett

Katie Waggett’s series explores London’s religious diversity through portraits of Londoners in the clothing they wear to worship.

It highlights the diverse cultural identities that interact in the densely populated city, while providing insight into the lifestyles, values and traditions of Londoners from a broad range of backgrounds.

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Katie Waggett

“Sunday Best is my portrait of London, the London I know, and a community I am proud to call my home,” says Waggett.

“It invites the viewer to consider London’s unique identity as a flourishing multicultural city, home to a kaleidoscopic mix of religious identities and a freedom of lifestyles.”

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Katie Waggett

Waggett continues: “The project aims to counteract the fear brought on by recent events that different religions, races and nationalities cannot live together harmoniously.

“It recognises that those who oppose the values that are so clearly integral to my city are few and far between.”

Phillip Job

In his project, Phillip Job asks: “When was the last time you really listened to someone?”

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Phillip Job

He believes that it’s rare that someone will give another their undivided attention, not thinking about their own thoughts, but just listening.

His project is a study of listening, as practised by some of the 17,000 volunteers at the Samaritans helpline.

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Phillip Job

It is clear from his images what it is like to truly listen, and give someone undivided attention.

Doma Dovgialo

Doma Dovgialo attempts to understand the inner self through photography, trying to get inside the mind of the photo’s subject.

“The only way that seemed possible was to invite them to be both observer and creator of such a portrait,” Dovgialo says. “Perhaps we may never fully understand the journey through schizophrenia or depression, but we should definitely try.”

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Doma Dovgialo

All the works from the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography course can be seen from 16-20 November at the London College of Communication, SE1.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-42017144

Photographer turned warrior

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Heather Agyepong/Tate Exchange

The female warrior Yaa is a “badass” according to photographer Heather Agyepong who has re-imagined the leader for images which fall from the ceiling of the Tate Modern in her latest show. They depict strength, but also reveal how the stereotype of the “strong, black woman” led to her own depression.

Agyepong was born and raised in London, the daughter of immigrant parents from the Ashanti tribe in Ghana. Yaa is a celebrated Ghanaian warrior from the same tribe – they may or may not be related.

“My Yaa is a badass, and powerful,” Agyepong says. “She goes into spaces and fills them and sometimes I feel like that and sometimes I don’t.”

As a black, female, artist in the UK, Agyepong admits she doesn’t always feel totally at home or equal in galleries or museums and has taken a more personal take on black life to take attention away from “black trauma”.

She says people have become used to seeing “slavery, or films about women in pain” and rather than “dwell on this painful situation” she wants her work to reinvigorate and “reclaim” these cultural spaces and help black people feel “empowered”.

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Heather Agyepong/Tate Exchange

Her latest project sees the 27-year-old recreate photographs and pose as Yaa.

The warrior, Yaa Asantewaa, led the Ashanti rebellion known as the War of the Golden Stool in 1900.

It was a fight against British colonialism after the British governor demanded the tribe hand over the gold stool – their symbol of sovereignty.

Agyepong says Yaa is a “symbol of pride, tenacity and defiance” in Ghana, but in the London museum she says she has used it, not to “indulge in the spectacle of black pain” but to show fighting spirit and confidence.

The photographer says the project was borne out of research by Cambridge University which found the mental health challenges of black people of African descent were exacerbated when they were not around other black African people.

Agyepong can identify with that having been brought up as part of a black minority in the UK.

She says she has fought against a sense of isolation at times when she has gone into galleries and found very little artwork or staff members that reflect her cultural heritage.

“I thought what does that mean about black creatives in spaces, where they don’t see themselves? Are there any mental health implications?”

The work, But We Are Still Here, is part of Tate Exchange, a programme of events which considers how society’s perceptions impact the production of culture.

Agyepong has spent the last nine months researching her warrior and musing on what Yaa might do if, like her, she was living in contemporary Britain – “If I was Yaa on the bus when this person said this, what would I do?”

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Heather Agyepong/Tate Exchange

It harks back to a youth, confused with a British-Ghanaian identity and the uncertainty over who she was or meant to be and how she should act.

Her work, she says, reflects her own personal experiences.

“When people talk about Black British female artists it’s always about ‘all black women’ and I’m just trying to say this is about me and if you relate, ‘cool’.”

She says for years there has been a “silent assumption” that all black women must be strong and this made her believe there was no place for vulnerability, but she now recognises that as a survival strategy.

“My mum came here as an immigrant. She was treated differently and she’s black so she was like ‘I have to be on survival mode, I can’t cry’. I think we’re forced to be resilient and then we find difficulties when we’re vulnerable.”

The “culture clashes” which was one of the many factors which led her to experience depression as a teenager, something she didn’t even talk about with her friends because she thought she had to show she was strong and nothing should get to her, even racism.

“Somebody would say something racist and we’d laugh and say ‘idiot’,” she says. Only later would it dawn on them they had accepted racial prejudice.

It was during a deep-set depression, between the ages of 16 and 22, that she started to use a camera to create artwork.

She took “really bad pictures” of items in her life which helped boost her mental health and says photography has remained a positive outlet even in difficult times.

Her last project, Too Many Blackamoors, may have won plaudits, but it also impacted on her mental health.

The term “Blackamoor” related to black Africans and was referenced in a royal letter sent from Queen Elizabeth to the Lord Mayor of London in 1596 stating there were “too many” and should be expelled.

Agyepong’s project told the later story of Sarah Forbes Bonetta who’s family was killed in a slave raid in Nigeria in the 1840s when she was just four-years-old.

The girl was gifted to Queen Victoria who adopted her as a goddaughter, provided an education and a place to live in Windsor Castle.

But the photographic work, which Agyepong re-imagined, looked beyond this apparent “happy ending” and at how Sarah may have actually felt about being taken away to live a very different life.

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Heather Agyepong/Autograph ABP

“It was about people experiencing racism in European countries which happened to me the year before [in 2015],” Agyepong says.

“When it was first on the walls I cried because no one knows what I was thinking about during those images. They were saying ‘this is great’ and I was thinking ‘you don’t understand’.”

She says there are now positive moves in how her community discusses mental health, partly thanks to social media and she hopes Yaa may add to this.

“My friendship groups never used to speak about it five years ago and now we talk about it quite regularly, I can actually feel a shift.”

Even though Agyepong’s work touches upon mental health, her overall aim is inclusivity.

We’re all in this together and my project is to say ‘I see you, I feel the same, I’ve been through the same thing, it’s cool’.”

Heather Agyepong’s work But We Are Still Here will be on display at the Tate Modern as part of Tate Exchange until 26 November.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/disability-41913330

Week in pictures: 11

Our selection of some of the most striking news photographs taken around the world this week.

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IVAN DAMANIK/ AFP

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In the Karo lands of Indonesia, a farmer fertilises his farm as Mount Sinabung erupts in the background. The volcano has been active for the past seven years after lying dormant for the previous 400, with activity particularly increasing since 2013.

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ANGELA WEISS/ AFP

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Thando Hopa, a South African model with albinism, attends the launch of the 2018 Pirelli Calendar, in which she is appearing.

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Steve Parsons/ PA

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Quixote and Doris the Shetland pony greet each other while Inspector Simon Rooke of the Metropolitan Police looks on, ahead of the 2017 Olympia Horse Show.

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JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/ AFP

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Young women walk past an armoured personnel carrier as Zimbabwean soldiers regulate traffic in Harare. Zimbabwe’s military appeared to be in control of the country, although they are denying that they staged a coup against President Robert Mugabe.

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Jeff J Mitchell/ Getty Images

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Judges sample the entries at the World Championship Scotch Pie Awards in Dunfermline, Fife.

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Manan Vatsyayana/ Reuters

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US President Donald Trump links hands with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte during the Asean-US summit in Manila, Philippines.

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Sipa Asia/REX/Shutterstock

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A couple pose happily during a wedding photo shoot on a cliff face in China’s Henan Province.

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SIMELA PANTZARTZI/ EPA

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A woman sweeps mud outside her house in Mandra, a town in Greece’s Attica region. Reports have estimated that heavy overnight rain killed at least 15 people because of flash flooding.

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Hannah McKay/ Reuters

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Austria’s Dominic Thiem stretches to reach the ball during his group stage match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena, London.

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MADE NAGI/ EPA

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During a security drill, Indonesian police practise their anti-terrorism routines at Bali International Airport.

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Charlotte Graham/REX/Shutterstock

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In North Yorkshire, Castle Howard prepares for Christmas with a specially designated “wrapping room”.

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Jane Barlow/ PA

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Master ice sculptor Jack Hackney puts the finishing touches to a sculpture exhibited as part of an immersive experience on George Street, Edinburgh, where temperatures will be kept as low as -10C (14F).

All photographs are copyrighted.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-42026206