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Jordan Carroll, Leeds
Photography Jordan Carroll

Meet the new-gen punks of northern England

Punk, hardcore and escapism: this photographer captures a musical subculture giving hope to the UK’s displaced youth

“There are so many issues that people are facing these days, political issues, finding work, housing, benefits, education – just to name a few. It’s important to find an outlet for frustration and I try to capture that in my images, young people within a formed community trying to deal with how things are and finding an escape.”

This is how 23-year-old Jordan Carroll explains her fascination with exploring the youth culture in Leeds, through documenting her friends at gigs or just hanging out and exploring in the city. She first picked up the camera at the age of 15, and has been photographing her everyday life and travels since. Using point and shoot cameras, these images are from a collection started in 2010.

Her photographs tackle the UK-wide problem of an uncertain future and the inescapably slowed down start to ‘adult life’ for the younger generations. Escaping these issues by immersing themselves in the growing punk and hardcore scenes of Leeds, these images give an exclusive insight into how her group of friends challenge this unknowingness and the unsettling future.

Leeds is fast-growing into a city teaming with creative minds, and Carroll is hell-bent on capturing this. “There’s a lot of Leeds-based bands and friends who put on DIY shows, which is great, as well as people who take photos, run record labels and put out zines, amongst other things,” Carroll explains. “Everyone is really creative and there’s always something happening.”

Documenting these friends in intimate portraits and in everyday-life situations, her subjects are captured by the camera’s fuzzy gaze. These are intimate pictures that allow a glimpse into the lives of these Leeds-based friends – who are battling the uncertainty of what the future holds but refuse to stop reveling in the hazy days of youth.

Carroll’s sold-out zine ”Leeds Four” – a collection of photos taken at DIY punk and hardcore gigs in Leeds, and other projects’ success have her looking to the future. She says planning a joint exhibition with other creative friends and a photobook to round it out is what’s coming next.