Reading Time: 3 minutes For over two decades, Leah Gordon has documented the significance of ritual and identity in Haiti, honouring a community taking history into their own hands
Investigations of identity and community are at the heart of the stories we tell at British Journal of Photography.
For many of us, traditions – the rituals and customs passed down by our ancestors from generation to generation – form the basis of our personal narratives. We create a linear connection between our past, present and future through tradition and storytelling. Through the lenses of global photographers, we learn how customs are upheld and changed and whether they are still relevant today.
Tradition, as a subject, has been addressed in photography projects for decades. Some of the most recognised series, such as Larry Towell’s The Mennonites, document the unique customs of communities where tradition lies at the heart of their everyday existence.
British documentary photographer Alys Tomlinson too, has spent her career capturing tradition through faith and spirituality. Wendy Red Star’s oeuvre is concerned with keeping her community's archive alive, lest it be forgotten or cloistered in museums, divorced from those to whom it belongs. In this Collection you will find projects and long-form interviews with artists sharing personal stories on their traditions and those they have learned from others. There are also pieces that scrutinise the customs of photography and whether they should be challenged, subverted and reconsidered. We ask, which traditions to preserve and which to forget?