Review: Habeas Corpus Westminster MA Photojournalism graduation show

16:56 12 September 2011

Sasha Joelle Achilli took portraits of eastern European prostitutes working in the Capital

Sasha Joelle Achilli took portraits of eastern European prostitutes working in the Capital

Archant

Max Houghton, the MA Photojournalism course leader, said today’s press photographers are not necessarily capturing the first draft of history since legions of ‘citizen journalists’ are often broadcasting first via Twitpix as an event happens. But there remains an essential role to fulfill in documenting the consequences of world events.

This year’s graduates have traveled widely and reflected deeply in order to do so and have sought to portray the world in all its beauty and cruelty.

The author of one of my favourite portfolios, however, did not have to travel farther than Mayfair to produce a powerful set of intimate images on prostitutes in the capital. Sasha Joelle Achilli treated her subjects, who hail mainly from Eastern Europe, with dignity and discretion. There is a subtle shot of one of the ladies’ wardrobe displayed in a dimly lit room that captures the subject with elegance. To compliment the images, she built up a replica of a sexual worker’s room opposite her photos, complete with a small TV playing interviews on a loop.

‘Transit’, by Caroline Bruyninckx shows the faces of drug addicts who decided to enter an emergency centre for a period of 13 days to get psychosocial help. These are strong close-ups of people who are kicking the habit and the extreme tension of their inner struggle is reflected in their faces.

Samar Hazboun is trying to break a long-standing taboo with her stark black and white images of a Palestinian women’s shelter, where victims of domestic abuse dwell. Gender-based violence remains a tricky subject in Palestinian society as most of the attention is given to political and military issues and little time and energy is left for what they dismiss as mere domestic disputes.

“On arrival her passport is taken away. The maid is told to wait in an area specially designed for the arriving migrant domestic workers, while her passport is handed to her employer. She will only get it back before leaving the country, years later, if ever.” Lucas Pernin documents the plight of thousands of domestic workers who migrate to Lebanon in an understated fashion, with the images blurred to protect the subjects, thus giving his project a mysterious halo that underpins the theme.

Lecturer Ben Edwards agrees that Photojournalism has moved into a different level, with students focusing on more intimate projects and less on newsworthy items. “This generation have grown saturated by 24/7 news coverage and social networking, and are taking a step back to become more reflective in their work.”

Ex-course leader Colin Jacobson, a distinguished former picture editor of The Observer and The independent Magazine, would still like the new generation of photojournalists to take a more blunt approach. “There is some good work here, but I still haven’t seen that ‘wow’! image that captures the imagination. But there is potential there. Maybe it needs a bit more maturity. Time will tell”.

But time is on the side of these young hopefuls, who certainly emanate a lot of creative energy and thoughtfulness. Good luck to them.

The exhibition is at Ambika P3, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS. The exhibition is free to view and is open on Monday to Friday, from 10am to 6pm. The nearest tube is Baker Street.

www.habeascorpus.org.uk

www.julioetchart.com

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

One male suspect has also died, with Parliament sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers hailed for helping to stop the attacker reaching MPs.

Read more

Lindsay Booth said The Apprentice taught her to put more emphasis on life than business.

Read more

Tina Fey and Jason Bateman star as brother and sister, who return home after the death of their father in This Is Where I Leave You.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Top Stories

Quizzes

Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho go head to head (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Football managers are either deified or chastised, depending on results and they are some of the most famous faces in the country.

Read more
London is a scary place

This great city of ours is one of the most haunted places on the planet.

Read more
Roy Keane  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Roy Keane denied the world of more glorious beard action this weekend by shaving his famous chin hair off, however football is still littered with some impressive beards.

Read more