Richard Mosse – DR Congo

Just this week I was looking back at Richard Mosse’s incredible prize winning documentary photography work on the Congo, and watching this video:

Then today I found this video also about the Congo:

Now, I can’t say I know much about the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but both these videos are worth watching – especially given the millions of people that have died there in recent wars.

Mosse’s work is really something else, quite incredible really.

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Kosuke Okahara – Ibayso project

Documentary photography opens up worlds that we might not otherwise see or know. Sometimes I come across projects that really interests me and stir my emotions.

Recently, I came across Kosuke Okahara’s project Ibayso. This is a story about six Japanese women who use self-harm as a way of coping with their very difficult situations. It’s a very powerful, emotional and thought provoking human story. In my professional role, I work very much with mental health and self-harm issues. When I work with people, I try to understand their stories about what led them to do this, why they still need to do it, and what can help them to reduce it. However, given my job, I tend to view this in an empathic but professional way. Kosuke also seems to work in a very empathic and professional way, but his photography and long-term dedication to their stories, reveals a much deeper and more emotive picture. The video of his work is very much worth watching.

I noticed on his website dedicated to the project that there are six books circulating around the world where people can illustrate their thoughts towards the women in his story. I contacted Kosuke and he has kindly offered to redirect a copy of the book to me in a few months – the great thing is that there is a waiting list of people all over the world wanting to share their thoughts with these women. When I get hold of a copy of the book, I will post another blog reflecting on what I have seen.

For me, this is a good example of the power of photography and the internet. Photography allows the story of the women to be known, and the internet has allowed it to be communicated across the world where people can show care and humanity in wanting to make even a small positive difference to their lives.

Like I said at the beginning, occasionally I come across a project that connects with me personally, this is one of them – it makes me glad that there are people out there, like Kosuke, doing such work.

Day trip to London

I recently went on a day trip to London, I was going there for the London College of Communication open day to find out more about the MA in Documentary Photography course that they run there. It’s been a programme that I have wanted to do for sometime now.

I was going to see some exhibitions, but there wasn’t much on that I was particularly interested in. So, I decided to do some street photography ‘Japanese’ style! I really like Japanese street photography, particularly the work by Jun Abe, so I decided to have play with this idea. His work is usually black and white, but at the moment I really like shooting in colour…

I found that London is great fun for street photography, firstly no one seems to particularly care that you are shoving a camera almost in their face and, secondly, you can be very anonymous. Salisbury, my local patch, is much harder to be anonymous.

Here are a few of the shots from the day. The scans are a bit rough as I have only quickly processed them. However, I like the scratches and marks on the film shots it adds a bit of grit to the image!

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