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Showcase Spotlight: MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

A light shining down onto a deserted coffee table.
A light shining down onto a deserted coffee table.
Image credit: Distraction - Nadine Persaud, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.
Written by
Chloe Murphy
Published date
08 February 2021

Faced with uncertain times, our MA students have continued to adapt and innovate with true creativity.

In celebration of our Postgraduate Showcase, we’ll be sharing work from a range of graduating designers, thinkers and makers as they explore new, thoughtful and experimental approaches to creative communications.

MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography is a vibrant course with an international reputation, bringing together research and practice for photojournalists and documentary photographers who want to take their practice to the next level.

With an emphasis on contemporary political and social issues, this course foregrounds both the ethics of photographic practice as well as its aesthetics.

  • Aniruddha-Dey.jpg
    , Image credit: Reflections on Disaster - Aniruddha Dey, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.
  • Nadine-Persaud.jpg
    , Image credit: Distraction - Nadine Persaud, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.
  • Claire-Eggers,-MA-Photojournalism-and-Documentary-Photography-2.jpg
    , Image credit: Fragments of Self - Claire Eggers, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.

Reflections on Disaster - Aniruddha Dey

Aniruddha Dey is a photographer and visual artist from India. Currently based in London, and with a deep interest in politics, his work focuses on opening newer perspectives to long-established power structures in society. Developed from historical and archival research, Aniruddha's projects combine multiple visual mediums in order to relate history with contemporary socio-political issues.

Reflections on Disaster explores the role of the wartime British Government - then headed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill - in the 1943 Bengal Famine, where a series of disastrous policy decisions and the impact of financial inflation led to the deaths of over 3 million people. With a title taken from one of the leading Anglo-Indian newspapers of the time, The Statesman, which criticised the famine as 'a sickening manmade catastrophe', this project is an attempt to grasp the true impact of the disaster on those whose lives were affected in unimaginable ways. By linking archival materials with the legacies of Churchill, the work also further seeks to identify with the victims, and to communicate an alternate perspective which addresses a significant gap in modern histories of colonialism.

Checking In - Nadine Persaud

Nadine Persaud is a Brighton-based photographer and creative consultant with a background in the music industry. A proud South-Londoner of Caribbean heritage, her work considers representation within visual media. Nadine's practice has a particular focus on shining a light on the ordinary, varied, and multi-dimensional experiences of the Black British community.

Checking In is taken from Nadine's Distraction series, which considers 2 aspects of the ways in which racism can be considered 'a distraction from existing'. Its title pays homage to the renowned writer Toni Morrison, and reflects on the disruptive impact of systemic racism on the every-day, the psychological and emotional weight of prejudice, and the experience of a life lived in the 'momentous crescendo' of the Black Lives Matter movement in Summer 2020.

Fragments of Self - Claire Eggers

Claire Eggers is an independent documentary photographer based in Athens, Greece. Born and raised in Texas, her work focuses on gender, identity, migration and mental health, and aims to depict the human condition in a delicate and artful manner.

Fragments of Self is a photographic exhibition which approaches the subject of self-image. Considering both the making and unmaking of thought, it explores the stories of people who have experienced disordered eating while considering the delicate balance of 'the after process': attempts at healing when faced with the potential to fall back into habitual behaviours. Presented as a series of images and testimonies, Claire's work offers an insight into individual and collective experiences, bringing together voices in overlapping, intersecting and supportive ways while using sandpaper abrasions as a metaphor for the chaos and difficulty of recovery.

  • Erica-Zelante.jpg
    , Image credit: Six Hours - Erica Zalente, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.
  • Lucy-Pullicino.jpg
    , Image credit: Flight of the Maltese Falcon, Lucy Pullicino, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.
  • Maggie-Viegener.jpg
    , Image credit: Culture of Congestion - Maggie Viegener, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.

Six hours - Erica Zalente

Erica Zalente is a photographer and visual artist from Venice, Italy. With a particular interest in the dynamic between humanity and the environment, her work often explores the narration and study of delicate lagoons in her hometown.

Six hours takes its inspiration from the Venetian idiom, 'Six hours it falls, six hours it grows', which refers to the natural cycles of the lagoon tides. Presented in the form of a logbook, the work features photographs taken on a summer trip between July and August 2020, and explores feelings of relief offered by nostalgia and home following the isolation, loss and detachment generated by the global pandemic. On a broader level, Six hours also considers the ways in which national Lockdowns displaced humanity 'as spectators of a nature that appeared to heal because of our absence', and encourages us to enter into dialogue with fragile ecosystems that have been neglected and impacted by climate change.

Flight of the Maltese Falcon - Lucy Pullicino

Lucy Pullicino is a Maltese-British photographer based in London. Her work explores questions of cultural identity, playing with notions of nostalgia, while capturing interpretations of tradition. Working between her own imagery and archival materials, Lucy's projects form poetic expressions of memory, disenchantment, and belonging.

Flight of the Maltese Falcon asks how we can define our sense of belonging when the romanticism of our memories has been shattered. Following the murder of the Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana-Galizia, a suspect was found with evidence in a plastic ice cream tub; an object that would otherwise invoke strong nostalgic memories for Lucy through its association with leftover meals stored by her father during childhood. In this work, Lucy reflects on the writing of Caruana-Galizia to re-examine her own feelings of national disenchantment.

Culture of Congestion - Maggie Viegener

Maggie Viegener is an Argentinean photographer and architect based between London and Buenos Aires. Balancing documentary and narrative forms, her work uses photography to research and critique the shifting urban landscape through the construction of surreal images.

Culture of Congestion exposes how cities have become an ever-changing landscape, or 'a laboratory for the metropolitan way of living'. By reflecting on the constant mutation of metropolitan culture in large cities across the world, this project explores the urgency of today's global and ecological crises which place architecture at their core.

  • Timo-Spurr.jpg
    , Image credit: Blackstock Road - Timo Spurr, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.
  • Ana-Blumenkron.gif
    , Image credit: Play Date - Ana Blumenkron, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.

Blackstock Road - Timo Spurr

Timo Spurr is a research-based photographer and photojournalist from North London. His work focuses on questioning the material that binds inner-city communities, and invites the audience to reevaluate existing ideas around topics like regeneration, immigration, and British identity.

Blackstock Road is a personal portrait of a North London High Street, told through documentary-style photographs of food outlets. It challenges established narratives of the surrounding community by highlighting local culinary spaces and the individuals driving them, positioning the vibrant variety of cuisines as a celebration of London's multiculturalism.

Play Date - Ana Blumenkron

Ana Blumenkron is a photographer and photo editor from Mexico. Now based in London, her work focuses on feminism, gender stereotypes and the representation of women in the media, and reflects a particular interest in how images influence our relationship with the world alongside how we conduct ourselves in response to them. Her work has been exhibited in the United Kingdom (Menier Gallery and Photoworks), France (Luma), Japan (Aoyama Meguro Gallery), and Mexico (Centro de la Imagen).

In Play Date, Ana tells the love story of 2 characters: Cecilia, a Mexican photographer, and Robert, an American designer. Through a mixture of scripts and photographs, the project explores societal expectations of women to fulfil gender stereotypes through areas including impossible beauty standards and pressures to marry and have children. Ana considers the ways in which traditional conceptions of romance function as tools to perpetuate the patriarchy, and invites audiences to introduce the notion of more 'Feminist love' in their futures.

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