British Journal of Photography: What’s so British about it?

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Since its invention, one of photography’s most powerful qualities has been its ability to record, informing and educating viewers about places, cultures and people they might otherwise never encounter. From the hustle and bustle of a Lagosian marketplace to the landscapes of pre-Brexit Britain, in the past year alone British Journal of Photography has featured an array of projects transporting readers to all corners of the world.

But, it is not just the work we showcase that is thoroughly international. BJP is also dedicated to featuring a global pool of photographers, ensuring its pages are filled with a multitude of perspectives. From established practitioners to individuals at the very start of their careers, BJP’s featured photographers represent a diverse range of nationalities and ethnicities.

Along with the work itself, BJP is committed to providing a platform for the voices of editors, writers, critics, curators and teachers from across the globe. From predictions of upcoming talent to discussions about the future of the medium, an array of viewpoints and ideas are always represented.  

So, despite our somewhat misleading name, British Journal of Photography is a thoroughly international publication, dedicated to showcasing the best of photography from around the world. Below, we spotlight some of the photographers, work and features, which represent the scope of our coverage from the past year.

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Ones to Watch: The Talent Issue 

From Ones to Watch

Every year, since 2011, BJP has dedicated an issue to identifying the best emerging talent in the photography world. This year’s practitioners were drawn from six continents, put forward by a global network of nominators with local and international expertise, from Vogue Italia’s Chiara Bardelli Nonino to Chinese photography critic Bao Kun.

The photographers spotlighted in this annual showcase have gone on to firmly establish themselves in the industry, with previously featured practitioners including Diana Markosian, Max Pinckers and Mariela Sancari.

This year’s selection represented our most diverse range of talent yet. From the work of self-taught, Turkish photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan, which reveals the unknown stories of his homeland, to the photographs of upcoming fashion and portrait photographer Nadine Ijewere, a series that aims to challenge the cliches and stereotypes of this industry.

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Look & Learn

Look & Learn

BJP’s annual survey of photography schools, now in its third edition, explores the curriculums and teaching methods of institutions around the world. From the University of South Wales in Cardiff to Ostkreuz in Berlin and Fatamorgana in Copenhagen, this year’s issue spotlights courses united by their emphasis on equipping students with an understanding of the mechanics of the medium.

With so many practicing photographers working today, it has never been more important to develop a distinct visual voice. The Look & Learn issue also delves into the methods adopted by each institution to teach their students to “see photographically,” from encouraging pupils to undertake a journey of self-exploration, to creating a space for debate and discussion.

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Portrait of Britain

Portrait of Britain

Published alongside our nationwide exhibition Portrait of Britain, this collectible edition of BJP offers an opportunity to own a curation of the featured works in print. Now in its second instalment, Portrait of Britain was envisioned as an exhibition for the people, by the people, celebrating the many faces of modern Britain and contemporary photographic talent.

From Jenny Lewis’s powerful photograph of Corinne Jones, a survivor of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, to portraits of a number of unsung heroes, including the pioneering neurosurgeon Dr Henry Marsh, the work featured is a testament to the diversity of Britain

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The Habitat Issue

From The Habitat Issue

Compiled in collaboration with Format17, BJP’s Habitat Issue presents a global selection of creatives that exhibited at Britain’s biggest photo festival. Format17 explored the theme of Habitat in the broadest sense, featuring work dealing with a range of subject-matter, including, landscape, environment, mobility, migrations, digital worlds, ideas of home and displacement, conflict and regeneration.

“I wanted to offer up experiences concerning the complexity of our existence on the planet,” said festival director, Louise Clements, explaining the thinking behind this year’s theme. Showcasing the work of 300 practitioners, Format17 explored different facets of this topic from a global perspective.

Highlights include an interview with Clements and curator Hester Keijser about the festival’s lead exhibition Ahead Still Lies Our Future, which investigated the idea of the Anthropocene, along with a feature on John MacLean about his project Hometown, in which he traced and documented the birthplaces of renowned image-makers, including  John Baldessari, Richard Long, William Eggleston and Ed Ruscha.

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