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   In Pictures
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Young photographers use portraits to explore the world they live in

     * 11 February 2020

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   Photographers aged 16 to 19 have responded to the political and social climate they live in with a new exhibition in London.
   A portrait of a young woman Image copyright Benedicte Lungwa-Loussi

   Common Ground, at Autograph's gallery in Shoreditch, east London, takes an autobiographical approach and explores issues around sexual identity, communities and race.

   The photographers are from sixth-form and further-education colleges and have worked with arts organisation Autograph and University of Arts London to produce the exhibition.

   Here is a selection of portraits with descriptions by the photographers.

The Regal Britarabasian Hybrid, by Fatimah Al-Zahraa Zahmoul

   Portrait of woman wearing various cultural clothes, looking to the camera Image copyright Fatimah Al-Zahraa Zahmoul

   "My series of photographs represent the theme of cultural hybridity. Through self-portraiture and coloured film, I aim to capture my true personality.

   "I focused on my mixed ethnicity of Algerian and Indian-Punjabi and additional factors that contribute to shaping the person I am.

   "Being British and a Londoner, I convey the salience of merging my Western and ethnic garments through my day-to-day fashion and language.

   "Visiting Algeria over the years has helped me to explore the roots of one of my halves thoroughly.

   "I illustrate my Indian culture in smaller details, such as the beautiful jewellery, jhumka earrings and the amazing paisley patterns."
   Presentational grey line

The Fluid State: A Moment of Ease, by Filip Skiba

   Portrait of man sitting on the floor and looking to the camera Image copyright Filip Skiba

   "My ongoing project, The Fluid State, explores people's understanding of how gender fluidity is constructed and what that means in today's broad spectrum.

   "I was inspired by the contemporary dance scene - it never fails to amaze me how dancers use their body to weave themselves through a short space of time.

   "I used that inspiration to capture my participant, Luke, in the studio, as he moulded his body and expressed gestures of ease."
   Presentational grey line

Ethereal Youth, by Leigha Cohen

   Conceptual portrait by Leigha Cohen Image copyright Leigha Cohen

   "I wanted my project to empower queer youth and identity in a delicate yet visually emotional way.

   "I interviewed women, men and non-binary individuals aged 16-18. I knew each of them personally and I asked them about their sense of identity and what it means to be at home with themselves.

   "For me, the project embodies the euphoric nature of being comfortable in your own skin, represented through the symbolic glitter portraits."
   Presentational grey line

Phases of Pynk, by Genesis Tennison

   A portrait of a woman wearing a dress with a blurred effect implying movement Image copyright Genesis Tennison

   "I was interested in creating a [photo] series that served as a metaphor for overcoming the challenges faced from the outside or within communities.

   "Each shot came together and created what looked like one fluid movement - a movement of liberation and resilience.

   "The portraits play with bold colours, haziness and dance-inspired gestures to portray phases of self-acceptance that many people from marginalised communities can relate to or feel empowered by."
   Presentational grey line

Golden, by Benedicte Lungwa-Loussi

   A portrait of two women, one is holding the other's head Image copyright Benedicte Lungwa-Loussi

   "The colour of our skin is who we are and it shouldn't be changed to fit anyone else's perspective of beautiful but should be used to express the glow in our skin.

   "As black people, we should be lifting each other up and praising our identity.

   "I want people to feel proud and comfortable in their own skin and explore the unique shine that it comes with."
   Presentational grey line

Music on the Mind, by T'Shan Barnes

   A portrait of a woman lying on the floor listening to headphones Image copyright T'Shan Barnes

   "This is part of a diptych of photos that portrays the impact that music has on my life. The centrepiece focuses on the subject laying down and listening to music through headphones.

   "Shot in a studio, the ambiguity of the soft background colours allows for the viewer to transport their imagination to the space they might enjoy music best."

   Young London Photographers: Common Ground is at Autograph's gallery in Shoreditch, east London, until 15 February.

Related Topics

     * Photography
     * Young people

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