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Birmingham breakdancers making the impossible possible, levitating while readingPhotography Anthony Shintai Amao

‘Reveal the Real You’ photography finalists unveiled

Dazed x Huawei bring their project to a close by picking three brilliant photographers creatively championing their communities

After a lively few months, Dazed x Huawei are proud to announce the finalists of ‘Reveal the Real You’ – a one-of-a-kind initiative shining a light on a new generation of budding photographers selflessly using their grassroots skills to support local communities.

Chosen from a shortlist of 20, these three photographers – Anthony Shintai Amao, Sahvannah Amaka and Kat Collings – rose to the challenge of capturing the people and things they care about most by artfully snapping a series of ten images with the Huawei P10 phone, a handset co-engineered with Leica. They will now be gifted £10,000 which will go directly to a cause of their choice, related to the photo story they produced.

Our finalists represent a new generation of visual talent that Dazed x Huawei are keen to nurture as part of the ongoing Project Possible – talented young people who aren't afraid to think outside the confines of their direct experience and understand how tech and creativity can combine to extraordinary effect.

Through their photography, they've taken us out of our comfort zone and into the worlds they inhabit. Their lenses have graced breakdancing icons, the rippling muscles of contemporary dancers bodies and the buzzing multicultural jazz scene that currently exists in London. This is their story:

ANTHONY SHINTAI AMAO

Amao, who has been chosen to host a ‘Living Gallery’ of his images in Birmingham (see more details below), truly finessed the capabilities of the Leica-engineered camera on the P10 to produce his photo story on the team behind Break Mission, a breakdancing community enterprise which consists of DJs, street dancers, MCs and graffiti artists based in the Midlands.

Described by judges as conveying “a beautiful narrative of self-expression and empowerment through breakdance, running in parallel to the photographer’s own experience”, Amao has managed to avoid breakdancing clichés. His monochrome stills feel spiky with energy, humour and intensity.

His £10,000 will go directly to Break Mission itself. Describing the enterprise to Dazed he said that its expansive vision is to “give back” to the hip-hop community by working with charities in order to help homeless people in the UK and around the world, and to support the local community through holding events by collecting food and recycled clothes.

He has also been chosen as the photographer to have his images feature in an outdoor ‘living gallery’ in January 2018 – an accessible space his community of dancers can visit in the middle of Birmingham, outside the sometimes-stiff confines of a traditional exhibit space. 

SAHVANNAH AMAKA

Creating good music takes deep concentration and an internal reservoir of patience. Amaka's images celebrate London’s modern Jazz legacy without taking away from the skill involved in the process of tapping out hip-wiggling rhythms on a drum kit or finding the right note in the deep bass of a tuba. Our judges saw in her work “a modern multicultural scene with a strong sense of community for a new generation”.

Her Huawei P10 images also “speak of the role in music in shaping one’s identity”, which is why she decided to gift her £10,000 to the Camberwell After School Project (CASP) – a childcare charity that provides a space for young people to safely learn, grow, and develop their future passions. Growing up in a single parent family, Amaka said she went to CASP every day after school and during the holidays.

“I have so many amazing memories there, which included my creative side being nurtured and developed from the various art and music activities they had to offer,” she said.

KAT COLLINGS

The rich, matte-contrast colours of Collings' photos, drawn out by the Huawei P10, are breathtaking. Collings explained that she tried “to capture the unexpected in the familiar” and the “natural order amongst choreographed chaos” while shooting dancers from Shoreditch Youth Dance (SYD). SYD, who will receive Collings' £10,000, is a charity which champions the creative talent and training of young dance artists and future creative leaders. Having grown up around artistic communities in London, it was only natural for her to seek creative inspiration from dance.

“I have always been interested in capturing not only what is presented by the artist but the before and the after,” she said on her evocative eye for composition. “To see the artist as much a part of the final piece.”

Anthony Shintai Amao's ‘Living Gallery’ will be open from January 17 - 21 at the Birmingham Bullring and is open to the public. It will include performances from the Break Mission crew between 11.30am - 2.30pm, from Wednesday to Friday