Rave, albinos and blue: pics and projects from one of London's best photojournalism MAs
Casting a spotlight on Westminster’s photojournalism talent, Moving, Still showcases this year’s MA graduates. The exhibition, which opens tonight, is a study on the far and wide; from Chinese toy factories, interracial marriage in Lebanon and albinism, to squatters, British ravers and white Shanty towns in South Africa. "We live no longer in an era where news is created by Canons and Kalashnikovs." says Bill Kouvenhoven, International Editor of HotShoe magazine, who introduces the show's online portfolio. "There are quieter but no less important stories of everyday struggles, dashed hopes and people getting on with their lives."
Organised exclusively by the students, the show has a distinctly cosmopolitan vibe with the students hailing from thirteen different countries collectively. Thanks to Getty Images, following the private preview one of the students will also win a sponsored mentorship with the renowned photography giants.
Dazed caught up with student, Phil Clarke-Hill on his hopes for the show and what inspired his own contribution to the exhibition - Free to Party on the British rave scene.
Dazed Digital: Tell us a bit more about photojournalism at Westminster?
Phil Clarke-Hill: It's photojournalism in its widest context. We look deeper into subjects than what some might expect from a photojournalism course of hard news and conflict photography. Much of the work is considered documentary-style, covering both big social issues and quieter, more personal stories. It was set up by Colin Jacobson, Photo Editor of The Independent magazine back in the 80s/90s when magazine assignment photography was booming. It's adapted with the times, as the industry has had to too, and you can tell from the type and variety of work on show in Moving, Still (there's four audiovisual pieces). I thought it was an excellently designed and tutored course, highly recommended.
DD: Why the rave scene?
Phil Clarke-Hill: I’ve been going to free parties since I was 16, so it’s always been a big part of my life, yet I had so little documentation of it. Even though I was studying and working as a photographer, I'd decided not to cover raves under my nose and so close to my heart and chose other avenues of investigation. So when I started shooting Free to Party, it gave me a bit of a resurgence with raving.
DD: What was the most challenging aspect of shooting for this series?
Phil Clarke-Hill: The fact that you’re shooting something which is apparently illegal, although rarely enforced, was an interesting one. I wanted to show the industry and ingenuity behind the parties - so drug-use and break-ins where moments where I had to be sympathetic about what I captured.
DD: Have you got any new projects in the pipeline?
Phil Clarke-Hill: I’m compiling a book about syncretic religions and folklore in Latin America - showing how the cultures and religions of western, indigenous south American and African people have mixed together. I was in Cuba earlier this year shooting the Santeria faith, which mixes African tribal beliefs with Catholic religion.
DD: Tell us a bit more about Getty Images' involvement?
Phil Clarke-Hill: It’s a great opportunity for whoever’s lucky enough to get it - Patrick Llewellyn from Reportage by Getty Images has offered one of the students a mentorship with them. It will involve support with editing and presentation of the story the student produced for the course, helping them develop the idea and get it into the marketplace.
Watch Phil's Free to Party video here.
Moving, Still is open to the public from Wednesday 11 - Sunday 15 September. More details here.