Travel Chaos at London Bridge

Some poor bastard threw themselves under a train near New Cross this morning. It screwed up the trains into London Bridge so when I arrived at my office people were late and moaning about it. I listened to them in the lift and a bit more in the kitchen but eventually the selfish assholery of complaining about being 30 minutes late for a job that isn’t going to dock your pay, punish you or probably even notice you showed up late got to me and I said; I would imagine they were feeling pretty bad. The response to this was …

You don’t look Somali

I get this quite a bit. Never from Somalis, they have a habit of going oh yeah, you got this or that and point to things about my face that they have. One woman once and grinning broadly grabbed me by the chin and rubbed the top of my forehead and said what else could you possibly be. But I was buying “Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race”. And I got into a conversation about it with the sales person who had read it and thought it was really great and when I mentioned my dark …

Workshops at the Dhaka Art Summit and Bistaar Arts Complex February 2018

In February this year I was invited to give workshops as part of the Dhaka Art Summit and for the British Council at The Bistaar Arts Complex. The plan was to be part of a team delivering four workshops during the summit, plus another workshop in Chittagong. I went with Eleanor Von Browne, Trish Scott and Fraser Muggeridge. It was great, not least to be with three other people I either didn’t know all that well, or had never met at all but whose company I thoroughly enjoyed, in a place I had only ever heard about but had no real …

Kiri

So last night I sat down to watch Kiri. Early on, very early on, a young girl who is about to be transracially adopted is being taken to see her grandparents on an unsupervised visit by her kind of empathetic but clearly signposted as problematic, social worker. The visit has been set up not least because her soon to be adoptive parents are white and her grandparents are black and, as the potential adoptee knows, colour is a thing. Cool I think. This is a character who can voice those things I know and people I know also know them …

In the Prado

What with one thing and another, the Prado is mainly warehouse of paintings of people doing shit things to each other in the name of various deities, though mostly the christian one.  That has never stopped me from visiting those kinds of places and I was hugely rewarded by seeing Rogier Van Der Weyden’s descent from the cross in the pigment for the first time.  I watched walrus of art, Waldemar Januszczak, banging on about this painting in an episode of the Renaissance Unchained and he was his usual hectoring self but in this case with good reason.  That said, nothing …

Writing

I write about work in progress, the work of other people and the occaisional random rant.  The categories broadly link some themes as does the tag cloud.

People

I’m thinking a lot about portraits at the moment as I am collaborating with other trans-racial adoptees to create portraits that represent us in a way we feel comfortable with our own image.  So I’m reviewing other portrait work I have done.  The relationship between the sitter and the photographer is so much more than point and shoot.  There is a skill to sitting.  There is a skill to managing the pose from both sides of the lens.  I took each of these photographs for distinct reasons and I can see what I was thinking about when I made the …

The Civil Contract of Photography

I am reading this and it is difficult but also rewarding. I am reading it because I am photographing other TRAs, creating portraits and having discussions about the experience of transracially adoptive/fostered lives.  I am not investigating tracing or tales of reunion with the unnerving prospect of Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell hoving into sight and engineering tearful reunions.  I’m after what the lived experience of being in a world that cannot recognise you as part of what you know to be your family without verbal and written explanations. Azoulay focusses on citizenship, the implication of equality that this term …

Quis Est Iste Qui Venit

‘I suppose you will be getting away pretty soon, now Full Term is over, Professor,’ said a person not in the story to the Professor of Ontography… This is the first sentence of the story ‘O whistle and I’ll come to you my lad‘, if you don’t know it, I cannot recommend it too highly.  Though it is somewhere in the murky area of ghost and horror fiction, not of the grand guignol school, but of the creepy unnerving type that lurks about in the dark corners of your room after you have read the final word, so forewarned is …

The Indefinitive Moment

Much of the vocabulary around photography is about stopping time for us to examine it, that decisive moment notion that the purpose of photography is to capture the fleeting and from that flows the idea that there is some ownership of what is in essence a coincidence.  This is further compounded by the notion that there are some special photographers whose shutterclicks are some how more precise, more intelligent, more special than those of mere mortals and with that magical gesture they are better at seeing than the rest of us.  Well permit me to say, that is just bollocks. …