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The only photographs you need to see this month

Documenting the UK grime scene, a playful utopia for black men, a teen dreamland, and an African youthquake – a definitive list of the past month’s best images

CHLOE SHEPPARD PHOTOGRAPHS HER IDEAL WORLD

Chloe Sheppard turns a trip to America earlier this year into the creation of her ideal world. Often flipping her own insecurities into dreamy frames, the young photographer shoots a series of girls amongst flower beds and neon-lit diners – published in her latest zine Lover, Loser, Loner.

WHY VICKY GROUT IS LONDON'S GO TO GRIME PHOTOGRAPHER

In just a few short years, Vicky Grout has become eponymous in the UK grime scene. Wrapping up her first solo show this past weekend at Old Street’s Hoxton Gallery, under her belt are cover shoots with Skepta, Novelist, and campaign and look book work with an array of streetwear brands. The best bit? This is only the beginning.

THESE PHOTOS CONSTRUCT A PLAYFUL UTOPIA FOR YOUNG BLACK MEN

Last month, America (and all of us) was rocked by a series of police brutalities. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were recorded a day apart, being killed by police on camera. Although created before both of these incidents, Tyler Mitchell’s Dazed original series I’m Doing Pretty Hood In My Pink Polo is a poetic way to explore his home country’s tensions. He told us, “Groups of black men are viewed as threats. We are criminalised. There’s something placed on us that doesn’t really exist”. By constructing a colourful, dreamlike world, the photographer/filmmaker explores the possibilities of black men being able to behave as freely as white men do in public. “Those fun and carefree black attitudes aren’t okay with people yet”, he explained. “This isn’t yet happening outside your window, on a street near NYU, roaming freely in Palo Alto, hanging out of the window of their car without being pulled over, yet. It’s about wishing that was there.”

THE FACES OF KAZAKHSTAN'S ISOLATED MODELLING INDUSTRY

Kazakhstan is the nine largest country in the world but has perhaps one of the smallest modelling industries. Not for lack of trying – but the political landscape of the country makes it difficult for aspiring models to travel and gain visas. Photographer Daniel King captured the country’s young hopefuls in a poignant, yet positive, series – premiered on Dazed Digital.

COLOURFUL PHOTOS CAPTURING CUBA'S YOUNG COMMUNITY

Although only spending six days in Cuba, photographer Amanda Fordyce’s colourful documentation of Havana is bound to get your feet itching. Focusing her lens on the people that make the city so vibrant, she shoots Havana’s young and old in a stunning series of portraits that will make you feel sunshine in your bones.

FIVE EROTIC PHOTO BOOKS TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD

Founder of London’s much-loved bookstore, Soho’s Claire de Rouen, Lucy Moore shared five titillating titles to get your blood pumping. From the late Carlo Mollino’s Polaroids to Bob Carlos Clarke’s Shooting Sex – a nod to the man who inspired Moore to set up the shop – there’s something here for everyone.

HOW LONDON IS FUELLING AN AFRICAN YOUTHQUAKE

On show at Somerset House until the end of the month, 2026 explores a youthquake taking place in Africa right now. Inspired by increased access to the internet, photographer Kristin Lee-Moolman and stylist IB Kamara found an increasingly connected youth taking bits of worldwide subcultures and making it their own, and their collaborative photo series interrogates ‘the delicate relationship between menswear and masculinity, sexuality and the black African body’. Lee-Moolman explained to us, “I don’t know what’s happened in the last three years or so there’s been some kind of cultural explosion. There’s so much going on, from youth culture to mid-30s, everything, it’s really like the way New York was when Warhol and co were there. It’s so much fucking friction and work exploding out of it.”

THE TENSION OF HOW WOMEN LOOK V HOW WOMEN ARE EXPECTED TO

Artists exploring the female body is nothing new and something all-too-often comes cloaked in an air of sexuality that is hard to shake. While, arguably, there’s a place for that kind of exploration (Helmut Newton, Ellen von Unwerth, Araki) it’s also great to see documentation of the female body that looks beyond beauty or fetishisation and last month, Flush art project provided that fresh take on femininity. Exploring how women are seen v how they are expected to be seen with a (slightly gross) photo series featuring fish eggs and fluorescent pink condoms – first debuted at Melbourne’s Sugar Mountain Festival.