BJP #7832: Ones to Watch

Ones to Watch, our annual survey of global talent, is now on shelves and available to buy direct.

We asked over 80 photography experts from around the globe to nominate emerging photographers; they recommended over 300 and we picked out 25 who are about to make it very big. Hailing from Japan to Russia to West Africa to Mexico, they’re poised for international success, and we’ve devoted over 50 pages to showcasing their work.

Sayed Asif Mahmud, a young Bangladeshi photographer, made our cover with a stunning monochrome image; establishing himself with a gritty exposé of his country’s cigarette industry, Mahmud’s work has now morphed into a darkly romantic, deeply expressionistic take on modern Bangledeshi culture which he describes as “a latitude of my observations, realisations and recurrences of the unknown”.

Turkish photographer Kürsat Bayhan has captured internal migration in his country; young men from the impoverished towns of east Turkey travelling to Istanbul to live ten to a room, picking up any work they can and sending the money home to their families.

Argentinian photographer Mariela Sancari provides an emotional, moving body of work; a former staff photographer on a local newspaper in Mexico City, she began taking portraits of men in their seventies, hoping to conjure up something of her long-dead father. “Those images were my attempt to make a fantasy come true through photography – the fantasy my sister and I have that we are going to meet my father in the street at any time,” she says.


Kirill Savchenkov, meanwhile, was born in the Moscow suburbs but grew up on a diet of MTV and American sports brands and skateboards: “Our childhood memories are the first steps of Western culture,” he says; inspired by dystopian sci-fi imagery, he’s making work combining portraits of his angry, counter-cultural friends with the Brutalist high-rises in which he grew up.

Diana Markosian was also born in Russia but grew up in California; she’s since returned to her homeland to make work, including the portaits of the almost grown-up survivors of the Beslan school massacre which we have featured. Her images, combined with archival news footage of the horrific seige, summons up the ghosts of the 385 who died, and the memories that haunt those who escaped.

This is just a small taste of the 25 stories we’ve told; alongside, we’ve put together an essential guide to all the best photography exhibitions around the world this year.

This issue is available from the BJP shop.

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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.