BJP #7831: Cool and Noteworthy

We call it Cool and Noteworthy, and it’s back again; our annual showcase of the people and projects that have caught our attention this year is on shelves now – or available to buy straight from the app store or BJP shop.

It’s been a remarkable year, with photography projects the world over taking great exploratory leaps into the unknown. We take pride in championing the movers and shakers of photography land, however idiosyncratic they may be, but we’re also careful to pay due attention to the more traditional photographers to make their mark this year.

It would be remiss to publish an annual photography review without paying homage to the brave new world of mobile photography, so you can find in these pages features on the secretive French collective #Dysturb, on the photographers who caught the wave of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, Thailand and Hong Kong, on the new phenomena of drone-based consumer images, on the “friendly window watcher” Gail Albert Halaban, and on Jules Spinatsch, who co-opted the state-of-the-art security of the Vienna State Opera House to create a remarkable visual comment on documentary, class and power.

Social-issue photography remained prevalent this year, but was characterised by detail, depth and commitment. We pulled this issue together in time to report on Paris Photo, which took place in the French capital over November. As such, we were able to feature Nicoló Degiorgis’ wonderful project Hidden Islam, which won the Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Award at the festival.


Degiorgis talks to us about the “makeshift, incidental” mosques across his native north east of Italy. More than 1.5 million Muslims live in Italy, but Islam, the nation’s second largest religion, is not a recognised religion by the state.” His photo series is: “As sociological as it is aesthetic, as anthropological as it is artistic.”

Chloe Dewe Mathews also deserves praise for Shot at Dawn, who paid respect to the deserters executed during the First World War by rediscovering the humble places where they lost their lives.

Some of our projects are closer to home. We feature Martin Usborne, the founder of Hoxton Mini Press, an independent photobook publishing company featuring stories about East London. It began with a chance meeting with a man called Joe, who had spent his whole life in the Borough of Hackney, witness to the most momentous change. Dougie Wallace, or ‘Glasweegee’, the photographer from Glasgow’s tenements with a talent for the caught portrait, tells us about his photography series in Blackpool, stag and hen capital of the UK.

We also talk to the young and old faces of fashion photography; Nick Knight, founder of SHOWstudio, about his move into mobile photography, and rising star Harley Weir, who’s portrait made the cover of this magazine.

We hope you find in these pages a range of articles that in some way reflect the broach and inclusive church of photography. We hope you’ve had a happy and creative 2014. As always, this magazine wouldn’t exist without the support of our readership, so thankyou. Exciting and expansionist plans abound for 2015, so here’s hoping you stay with us, and maybe – if you’re a photographer yourself – your pictures will be in this issue, in a year’s time.

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Tom Seymour

Tom Seymour is an Associate Editor at The Art Newspaper and an Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication. His words have been published in The Guardian, The Observer, The New York Times, Financial Times, Wallpaper* and The Telegraph. He has won Writer of the Year and Specialist Writer of the year on three separate occassions at the PPA Awards for his work with The Royal Photographic Society.