Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 3 September 2021

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – Thilde Jensen‘s exhibition I Am Not INVisible, which is a four year documentary project on homelessness in America and is part of Bristol Photo Festival. Plus check out Blind magazine’s feature on the photojournalists who covered the protests in Hong Kong in 2019 (featured photo by Alex Chan).

© Lam Yik

Also the winners of this year’s Firecracker Grants are announced. Congratulations to Australia’s Raphaela Rosella and Kenyan Cynthia MaiWa Sitei. Click on the link to read about their winning submissions and to see more images.

(C) Raphaela Rosella
(C) Cynthia MaiWa Sitei 

Exhibition:

I AM NOT INVisible – Thilde Jensen

Faye Dunaway. Syracuse, New York 2015 (C) Thilde Jensen

Danish photographer Thilde Jensen began this project in 2014 in Syracuse, New York when she met two homeless men, Reine and Lost. Since then she has photographed homeless people in upper New York state, New Mexico, New Orleans and Las Vegas.

Not only do Jensen’s pictures highlight the social inequities in America, they also challenge the homogenisation of homelessness. Jensen’s project acts to remind us that people who are homeless are individuals who through various circumstances have found themselves in often tragic situations without the means – physical, emotional, financial – to find a solution. These pictures convey universal themes that play out in cities around the world.

Laura agitated in the morning. Las Vegas, Nevada 2017 (C) Thilde Jensen
Cindy with her wig. Las Vegas, Nevada 2016 (C) Thilde Jensen
Mike’s black hand in roses. New Orleans, Louisiana 2018 (C) Thilde Jensen
Laura feeling down. Las Vegas, Nevada 2017 (C) Thilde Jensen

Jensen says, “I wanted the pictures to authentically show the often brutal reality of life in the streets of America. This meant learning a new way of making unposed photographs with my old medium format film camera, simply following and mirroring the people and their unfolding experiences. I spent many hours over weeks and months, gaining the trust of the homeless and understanding their struggles. I listened and I let the pictures come naturally. I tried to work from a place of extreme empathy instead of getting in the way of the people I was with.”

Her work speaks from the heart and from personal experience. Jensen spent two years living in a tent in the woods when she became ill with Environmental Sickness and was unable to afford health insurance. These years of illness and isolation became the subject of her first book, The Canaries “a personal account of life on the edge of modern civilization as one of the human canaries, the first casualties of a ubiquitous chemical and electrical culture.”

Bobby dragging his blanket to untangle the energy fields. Homeless for 13 years. Las Vegas, Nevada 2016 (C) Thilde Jensen
Drake, ‘I spent time inside, so much human potential rotting away behind bars’. Las Vegas, Nevada 2017 (C) Thilde Jensen

The Bristol Photo Festival brings together emerging, established and community photographers. This year’s theme is “a sense of place.” The festival runs until December and features a range of activities both IRL and online.

I AM NOT INVisibleThilde Jensen

16 September – 19 December 2021 Martin Parr Foundation, 316 Paintworks, Bristol, BS4 3AR 

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