From the human search for extraterrestrial life, to a dark and subversive interpretation of Jewish folklore. Below, we present the next selection of the strongest submissions to the International Photography Award 2018 so far.
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The International Photography Award was created to discover and celebrate the best of contemporary photographic talent. Bringing the work of both emerging and more established photographers to the attention of the international photography community, it has been instrumental in launching the careers of some of the most respected photographers today.
Anrike Piel, Unseen: Revealing a Lost Generation
“These images were made inside the heaving refugee camp, Shatila, which was originally built for 3,000 Palestinians in 1949, but is now home to over 30,000 refugees, a number that is rising every day.
Electricity is intermittent at best, the salty water that runs through the pipes is not useable, parents struggle with a lack of employment, or only earn the lowest of wages. They are forced to send their children to work instead of school. These children are at risk of becoming a ‘lost generation’.
In early 2017, I spent two months volunteering in Shatila. During that time I became very close with about 60 young Syrian girls between the ages of 12 to 22. Everyday I spent hours with them, teaching them the basics of creative photography, styling and makeup, working to nurture their own ideas and visions. Eventually we put these learned skills into practice, creating a photo studio in a tiny make-shift classroom.
Unseen: Revealing a Lost Generation is a series of photographs capturing these girls’ for who they really are, expressing their unique characters through their costumes and styling.
The girls in these photos are still going through hardships, every day. They are prisoners of a war they never wanted to fight. They have found the courage and determination to carry on – but they need our help.”
View Anrike Piel’s whole project here
Dina Goldstein, Snapshots from the Garden of Eden
“Leaves from the Garden of Eden is a collection of 100 Jewish fairy tales, folktales, mythical and supernatural stories collected and retold by folklorist Howard Schwartz. These rich fables are taken from rabbinic legends, biblical commentary, kabbalistic texts and Hasidic tales that originate from all over the world.
This book is the subject of a major exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco (September 2017 – January 2018), conceived by Assistant Curator, Pierre- François Galpin and organised in collaboration with Chief Curator Renny Pritikin.
I was commissioned to produce a series of photographic tableaux inspired by these stories. Employing the medium of the large-scale tableaux vivant, my work explores the human condition through the lens of pop surrealism, enabling me to interpret new and clichéd notions of beauty, gender, religion and Western culture.
The featured picture is my interpretation of The Tree Of Life and The Tree Of Knowledge, 2017. According to Genesis, in the middle of the Garden of Eden stood a ‘tree of life’ beside the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil.’ The reason for Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden was the possibility that, after eating from the tree of knowledge, they would partake of the fruits of the tree of life and thus attain immortality.”
View Dina Goldstein’s whole project here
David Abrahams, New Connections
“When viewed from miles above on Google Maps, Morocco’s National Road 12 zigzags across the country, from the southeastern town of Zagora to Merzouga, a village in the Sahara, near the border with Algeria. But, at street view, it appears perfectly pin straight, all the way to the horizon.
Less than a year old, this pristine stretch of the N12 runs parallel to its rubble-filled predecessor, which is now used exclusively by goat farmers and nomads travelling on foot. The piles of white rocks at seemingly random intervals were once road signs, signposts for the next tribe, village, or settlement.
The new road connects some towns and villages for the first time ever. Where previously it would have taken many days to trek between settlements, now professional drivers shoot back and forth almost as quickly as they fire off another email to a prospective business back in the bustling capital of Marrakesh.
Whether real or virtual, these modern highways have brought an influx of new people, with fresh ideas, information and technology, to the area. For the young, who are embracing this change, these new roads pave the way to formerly unreachable horizons. However, this transformation has also resulted in a once insular and tribal culture slowly melting away.”
View David Abraham’s whole project here
Philip LePage, A Certain Distance
“25 years ago I woke up in a hospital with no memory of how I had gotten there. A Certain Distance is an ongoing series of images exploring the things I haven’t been able to say to anyone. I repeatedly think that these aren’t the images I want to take. That this is a story I do not want to tell. Life now is often measured in the time between cigarettes.
I didn’t realize that in trying to hold things together I would make it even worse. That the distance I needed to maintain the fantasy would slowly separate me entirely from the people I love. It is impossible to have a connection to someone who can’t connect.
The images in this series are in some ways fragmented. Lives that no longer exist and disjointed memories that can’t be trusted mix with now. The myth we perceive as ourselves. They exist in that contradictory space between what I know and what I feel.
This is an ongoing project with the goal of producing a series of photographic short stories that explore the deeply personal space between what is known and what is felt: a study of mental illness.”
View Philip LePage’s whole project here
Tim Dechent, We Are Not Alone
“My photographic series deals with the human search for extraterrestrial life. Mankind is making his move beyond the last frontier, space. Our species is learning a lot about both the universe and ourselves these days, and the search for exoplanets and a potential new home is in full force. It is no longer a question of if the human race should be an interplanetary species, but rather a question of when this will happen.
This body of work is a mix of documentary and staged photography, which deals symbolically with our never ending spirit for exploring. In making my pictures I visit institutions around the planet who are searching directly for extraterrestrial life, or engaging in research about the universe and outer space.
With this series I intend to take viewers on a journey beyond one of the last frontiers in human history.”
View Tim Dechent’s whole project here
The deadline for applications for the 2019 edition of BJP International Photography Award is 20 December 2018 – 4pm GMT. Apply now!