It’s no exaggeration to say that Saturday was the best day of my professional life so far. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to join us, and hope other friends will get a chance to see the show if they are in Newcastle between now and 21 Dec. I am utterly buzzing. Thanks so much to the folks at Side for giving me this wonderful opportunity, for all their support and for making the show look so brilliant. And the biggest thanks of all go to Zaneta and her lovely family for being themselves and allowing a nosy stranger and her camera into their personal lives.
To see the full edit of the work on show at Side Gallery, click here
I was asked to give some dos and don’ts for a series running on Colin Pantall’s fine photography blog. Click the image above to reach them
I have a lovely big feature on Roma migration in this month’s Al Jazeera magazine, which is available free of charge as an app for the iPad and iPhone from here. ¬†It was great to be given so much space to cover the issues and I think they’ve done a lovely job with the design. The whole magazine is really strong, definitely worth spending some time with.
For those without access to a tablet I’ve uploaded a PDF, which you can download by clicking on the page below.
Lida and Yayha, five weeks. Part of my Roma project – see this dedicated website for more
The prints are done, the texts are written and a title has finally been found.¬†The title, Stay where there are songs,¬†is borrowed from a Romani saying. The show opens four weeks today, Oct 19th, in Newcastle. More info here¬†
For more about this project and many others with Britain’s migrant Roma, please see www.theromaproject.com¬†
I’m one of five photographers who are forming a kind of warm-up act of short talks on Wed 2 October at White Cloth Gallery in Leeds, where Tom Stoddart‘s exhibition opens that very same day. Tom will also be talking – looks like a fun evening. More information is available here.
It’s funny really but I met and had had a few chats with Tom Stoddart four summers ago, when I was really new to photography and had no idea who he was, in fact I’d never heard his name…I then kept confusing him in my mind with the playwright Tom Stoppard. It was the first day of Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria and I was determined to find my way into a Gypsy family for the event, but had not yet got anywhere. He said he was shooting photos for an exhibition of British culture he was preparing for the London Olympics year. It was cold for June, was quite early in the morning and was grey and drizzling. I had just grown bored of taking rather clich√©d photos of men washing and grooming horses in the river in the centre of the village, when a quietly spoken man in a black fleece – with three cameras around his neck (one of which I later learned was a Rolliflex) – started talking to me. There was something different about him to the army of geeky and intense prosumer photographers with massive lenses and huge back packs who were elbowing each other in the shallows. I recall I wasn’t really in the mood for chatting with other photographers ‚Äď I woudn’t even have taken the liberty of calling myself a photographer back then and felt I’d be found out as a fraud at any moment ‚Äď¬†but he was really sweet and encouraging and it turned out he knew John Easterby, the lecturer from London College of Communication who was shortly due to interview me for my MA course. I recall him being really humble about his own achievements, so it was quite a surprise when I looked him up online. If you don’t know his work you should definitely look here. Appleby ended up going quite well for me and was definitely instrumental in giving me the confidence to work more with photography and to focus first on the English Romani community and later the European Roma…a nice little circle for me. Wonder if Tom would recall this meeting, I guess probably not.
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Feeling all warm and fuzzy after meeting 11-hour-old Yahya, the son of Lida from my Roma Project, and her Kurdish husband Hemen. Beautiful boy.
Today is¬†Rakshabandhan, a Hindu festival which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. Five years ago I was in India and happened to spend this day visiting a centre run by the charity Project Concern for young boys who had been living around the city’s railways and wanted to leave that life and go back to school. As I was the only female in the room I was asked to be their honourary sister for the day and had to tie rakhis, a sacred string, around the wrists of these beautiful little lads, before giving them each a milk sweet. It was quite a beautiful experience.