This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – American social documentary photographer Burroughs Lamar and the finalists in the UK Association of Photographers awards. Also, check out the projects this year’s World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass participants are working on.
Plus the 2021 FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press is open for entries. Deadline closes 15 October. This year’s jury features Nana Kofi Acquah, Svetlana Bachevanova, Eric Bouvet, Anita Huynh, Keyavn Ghavami, Sarah Leen, Darcy Padilla and Marie Sumalla.
Burroughs Lamar – Harlem: Hidden in Plain Sight
There continues to be much discussion in the photography world as to who has the right to tell another’s story. Burroughs Lamar is an American social documentary photography who photographed his native Harlem from 2008 to 2017. He tells that he was inspired to pick up his camera and record life in Harlem and the impact that gentrification has had on this iconic New York neighbourhood because of “my love of my community and disdain for outsiders who have come to photograph Harlem as a ghetto, where the focus was Black misery.”
The result is Harlem: Hidden in Plain Sight, an archive of more than 70,000 pictures that capture and celebrate the diversity of the community from the unique vantage point of someone who has lived there for most of his life. “My photographs seek to portray its people as varied, unadorned, and relaxed in this environment for many who may have not seen the qualitative aspects of this community before.”
Lamar says that “while it may be true that many low-income communities are havens for crime, substance abuse, poverty, failing schools and ill health” this narrow view perpetuates “the negative stereotype of African Americans that (has been) projected worldwide, though the media – advertising, movies, television shows, and print – for decades.”
“These tropes lead to how black Americans are treated with contempt, wariness or mocking not just in the United States, but around the globe.”
Lamar reached out to me earlier this year and I am pleased to share his work with the readers of Photojournalism Now. One of the best outcomes of writing this blog over the past nine years is discovering photographers from around the world and they discovering me.
Lamar has also been documenting the Black Lives Matter movement and attended the march in Washington on August 28 that celebrated the 1963 civil rights march when Martin Luther King Jr made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. This year Dr King’s eldest son and granddaughter spoke to the tens of thousands gathered.
Lamar says, “Given the struggle for Black American civil rights and social justice issues in the United States is never ceasing, my covering the most recent March on Washington, is another major historical event that need not remain just a gallery on my website.”
You can check out more of Burroughs Lamar’s work on his website. All images (C) Burroughs Lamar.
Joop Swart Masterclass – World Press Photo
The Joop Swart Masterclass is run annually by World Press Photo for a selected group of photographers. Each year there is a theme for participants to create a photo essay around. This year the theme is ‘Reset’. “From stories of migration and social inequalities to personal projects reflecting on the self and the environment, discover how the participants are approaching the theme, here.”
Association of Photographers – Awards Finalists
The UK Association of Photographers (AOP) has released the finalists for this year’s awards. The winners will be named on 13 October at 11am (UK time) via an online presentation. Each year the AOP Awards celebrates the best in established and emerging photography talent in ten categories. Here are some of the finalists in six of the categories – Photojournalism, Environment, Portrait, Lifestyle, Still Life & Object, and Project.
Still Life & Object