BJP’s IPA winner Hajar Benjida in conversation with Fiona Rogers

Fiona Rogers headshot ©Alys Tomlinson

Following her exhibition of the winning series Atlanta Made Us Famous at TJ Boulting gallery in London, the Dutch-Moroccan photographer delves into the work and speaks candidly about navigating the music photography industry as an early-career photographer

In this special conversation organised by British Journal of Photography in partnership with TJ Boulting, this year’s British Journal of Photography International Photography Award winner Hajar Benjida speaks with Fiona Rogers, Parasol Foundation Curator of Women in Photography at the V&A, about her work and broader practice. 

Dialling in from New York, where she is based, Benjida is a Dutch-Moroccan documentary photographer. Her winning series, Atlanta Made Us Famous, began in 2018 and is shot in and around the world-famous strip club Magic City, in Atlanta. The images shine a light on the strength, vulnerability and autonomy of the women dancers, who might more often be seen framed through a male gaze. Here, they are pictured in confident poses, backstage, in their homes and with their families. 

Benjida also delves into her photography career thus far. It began with her graduation project in 2016, where she compared images of rapper Young Thug to classical paintings, publishing the works on a dedicated Instagram account which today boasts 201k followers . She candidly shares her experience of navigating the music industry as a young photographer, working backstage at hip hop gigs in a space that is traditionally very male-dominated. And, her go-getter attitude in creating opportunities that have gained her access to photograph the likes of Skepta, Joey Bada$$, Lil Simz, Lil Yachty and many more. 

Find out more about the BJP International Photography award here

With thanks to our print sponsor, Beyond Print


Izabela Radwanska Zhang

Starting out as an intern back in 2016, Izabela Radwanska Zhang is now the Editorial Director of British Journal of Photography in print and online. Her words have appeared in Disegno and Press Association. Prior to this, she completed a MA in Magazine Journalism at City University, London, and most recently, a Postgrad Certificate in Graphic Design at London College of Communication.