Issue #7894: Life, Death & Thereafter

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This month, we delve into the history of violence, looking at the dark undercurrents of our past, and unpacking the lasting effects that these events have had on today’s society. 

Our cover story is Pieter Hugo, who was invited by a curator to make new work in Mexico in 2018. “His only brief to me,” says Hugo, ”was that it be about sex and mortality”. So began a two-year inquiry into the country’s complex relationship with life, death and the afterlife.

German photography owes a huge debt to Michael Schmidt, whose work is the subject of a large-scale retrospective in his hometown, Berlin. Michael Grieve spoke to the show’s curator and Schmidt’s longtime collaborator, Thomas Weski. Elsewhere, An-My Lệ examines historical depictions of conflict and the complexity involved in representing a significant strand of recent American history.

This month, we dedicate part of our issue to the Photo 2020 biennale, a festival founded on principles of diversity and inclusion, in Melbourne, Australia. We learn more about some of our favourite exhibitors: Jesse Boyd-Reid, James Tylor, Emma Phillips, Georgina Cue, and Sam Forsyth-Gray. 

In Agenda, we speak to Aikaterini Gegisian about her new book of images that “provide visual pleasure”, and to Louise Baring about the child prodigy, Jacques-Henri Lartigue. Our duo of projects this month are by Georgie Wileman, who exploresthe epidemic of suicide among young men, and Robert Darch, who delves into feelings of anxiety and melancholy in the UK as it faces up to an uncertain future. 

Plus we speak to Chiara Bardelli Nonino, the photo editor of Vogue Italia, L’Uomo Vogue and about commissioning photography, and we preview Sohei Nishino’s new exhibition, as his work begins to lean towards climate activism. 

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Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.