Portrait of Humanity Vol. 5Gallery 1
3rd Aug 2023 to 23rd Sep 2023
About The Exhibition
In partnership with the British Journal of Photography
Belfast Exposed is delighted to be hosting the British Journal of Photography’s prestigious Portrait of Humanity Vol. 5 Exhibition. The annual photographic award sees portraits submitted by hundreds of photographers worldwide, with 30 individual images and 3 photographic series selected to showcase the moments that make us who we are.
Launched in 2018, Portrait of Humanity was conceived by the British Journal of Photography to show that '...across oceans and borders, there is more that unites us than sets us apart'. For this edition, Belfast Exposed is one of only two galleries globally to be selected to show the complete exhibition of winners, so this presents a unique opportunity to experience the very best of global portrait photography.
The backdrop to this latest edition of Portrait of Humanity is that of photography in a changing world. After a year of global turmoil and fast-paced change, themes of societal division are reflected in many of the shortlisted works, from images of striking workers in Britain, refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine and mass demonstrations by women in Iran. Yet there were also a plethora of photographs shortlisted that reflected quieter, more intimate moments, set admits the global noise. Honest and moving images of individuals, families and friends in the surroundings of their homes and communities.
Selected from this comprehensive shortlist, the list of final 30 images and 3 series, contains work that reflects on all of these themes.
In the selection of single images, Supratim Bhattacharjee captures a story of loss caused by climate change in West Bengal; Marcia Pimenta celebrates the black, trans artists making waves in Porto Alegre, Brazil; Deirdre Brennan reminds us that ‘Loving One Another Makes us Glamourous’ in Dublin, Ireland. These stories serve as a powerful prism, through which to understand a myriad of stories from around the globe, and are just a few of the winning images on display.
Meanwhile, the three winning series are If Covid Was A Colour by Tatenda Chidora, which pays tribute to humanity’s ability to adapt in the face of adversity: the pandemic. Fernanda Liberti’s Dancing With The Tupinambá focuses on the Brazilian community that was once considered to be extinct due to being the first native Brazilian people to be in touch with Europeans, who decimated them and their culture. Meanwhile, Lucia Jost turns the lens on the women of her hometown in a series of tender portraits that questions the nature of femininity in Germany’s capital for her winning series, Capital Daughters.
Taken as a whole, the exhibition is a stunning, visually captivating collection of work that documents the breadth of the human condition in uncertain times. A once in a generation opportunity for audiences in Belfast, we are delighted to host the exhibition from Thursday 3rd August to Saturday 23rd September in Gallery I.
The selected winners of Portrait of Humanity Vol. 5 are Adam Docker, Amy Woodward, Anusha Rai, Bongani Tshabalala, Camila Svenson, Carly Zavala, Curtis Hughes, Deirdre Brennan, Fernanda Liberti, Fernanda Soto Mastrantonio, Francesco Zinno, Gavin Doran, Iringo Demeter, Joseph P Smith, Kelly-Ann Bobb, Kirti Virmani, Kristina Varaksina, Laurent Nilles, Lieven Engelen, Lucia Jost, Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo, Marcio Pimenta, Philippa James, Rona Bar And Ofek Avshalom, Sane Seven, Stella Asia Consonni, Supratim Bhattacharjee, Tamsyn Warde, Tatenda Chidora, Tom Marshak, and Vikram Kushwah.
From the grim slums of Lagos and Rio to the luxurious super-yachts of the fabulously wealthy. Cinematographer Adam Docker has filmed in every imaginable environment in more than 85 countries. London-based Adam captures stirring, expressive, dramatic images to make creative visions come to life for commercials, brand films, documentaries and music videos.
Adam’s versatility means he’s equally at home storytelling in a dynamic, real-life situation, as when working to a tight brief on a controlled set. As well as being a passionate cinematographer, Adam has produced and directed award-winning documentaries, earning him Kinsale Shark Awardsfor Best Cinematography, Best Short and Best Sound Design for “What’s Wrong with Raymond?’’.
Adam brings this wider perspective to every project, helping him stay inspired about new techniques, fresh approaches and cinematic trends. Adam’s rarely found without a stills camera and loves taking time out to take pictures. He has won the Independent Photographer People 2022 award and 1854 Media & British Journal of Photography Portrait of Humanity 2021 and 2023 award. He has a UK drone licence, is fluent in Italian (with a smattering of Spanish and Portuguese) and he’s never quite got over the excitement of having had his stomach tickled by the Dalai Lama…
Amy Woodward is a photographic artist currently living and working on Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi Country (Sunshine Coast) Australia.
Intrigued by the fragile and fleeting nature of everyday life and the human experience, Amy approaches her practice with sensitivity and reverence for all stages of life but often pays particular attention to the passage of motherhood.
Amy’s own turbulent journey into matrescence drives her desire to honestly portray the chaos and intensity of early parenthood and family life. Themes relating to neurodivergence weave into her personal work; a lived reality for her and her first son, and one that presents its own set of complexities still being explored.
Born in country Victoria on Pangerang Country, she was drawn to the medium of photography from an early age as a way to catalogue the constant changes around her. Moving houses, schools and states was a regular occurrence during her childhood. Amy completed a Bachelor of Arts (Photography) at RMIT in 2016.
Amy's work has been recognised in the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize (finalist, 2021) Photo Collective Stories (finalist, 2021) Photo Collective Australian Photography Awards Portrait Category (finalist 2020 & 2021) The Independent Photographer Portrait Award (3rd place, 2021) PALM* Photo Prize (shortlisted 2021) and the Head On Photo Awards (semi-finalist, 2021) amongst others. Her work has been exhibited at the Monash Gallery of Art, Center for Contemporary Photography, Tinning Street (solo), OPR gallery in Milan, 10 14 Gallery in London, and screened as part of the PhotoVogue 10 year anniversary video at PhotoVogue Festival. She has also been featured in publications such as D - La Repubblica, Rolling Stone IT and Creative Review.
Born in South Africa and based in the Free State, Bongani Tshabalala is an emerging fine art, storyteller and fashion photographer whose contemporary style is narrating the stories of African people. He’s driven by creating a more diverse picture and inspired by the stories and faces of his subjects. His striking visuals which are often raw and real makes heroes of his subject. He uses his place of birth as an inspiration to tell stories which are happening in townships. His subjects are often people he discovers on the streets and finds interesting. Bongani studied Mechanical engineering at the Central University of Technology, but he never gave up on his dream of becoming a professional photographer.” Photography to me it’s more than just clicking the shutter speed it’s more of connecting with my subjects,” he says. In 2019 he won the public vote for the New Breed Art Competition at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum. In 2020 he exhibited in the William Humphreys Art Gallery Online Group Show as well as the Turbine Art Fair. Tshabala was recently awarded the Editor’s Pick for his submission the renowned contemporary photographic platform – Lensculture.
Camila Svenson is an interdisciplinary artist and photographer. In her research she investigates memory, relationships, self-representation and fiction. She is interested in questioning the fragility of the image as a document of veracity and how the concept of fiction can be articulated within different visual narratives. She holds a degree in Visual and Documentary Journalism from the International Center of Photography/NY and in Audiovisual from Centro Universitário SENAC.
Carly Zavala is a Venezuelan born, Brooklyn based freelance photographer. She was a nurse for 15 years and with that experience came a keen sense of reading people and putting them at ease. Light and shadow play are used a lot in her work to create emotive and moody images.
Curtis Hughes is a British social documentary and portrait photographer who explores and questions his own identity and belonging through collaboration and connection. Through his work, which is often portrait-led, Curtis explores themes surrounding love, identity, belonging, and the human experience while questioning and challenging societal conventions. Through reflection, Curtis seeks to understand the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical characteristics of human life through empathic, intimate, and compassionate connections and encounters with others. His work has been featured in the annual British Journal of Photography's Portrait of Britain and Portrait Humanity award, as well as the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize by the National Portrait Gallery, Head On Portrait Award, and PhotoVogue. Curtis now resides between the UK and Berlin where he continues to work on refining his craft and visual signature in portraiture.
A graduate of The National College of Art and Design, Deirdre Brennan worked as a photojournalist and documentary photographer in New York for over a decade before returning to her native Dublin. On contract with The New York Times since 2000, her work has been published throughout the world in titles such as The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Marie Claire, Sports Illustrated, Portrait of Humanity, The Hollywood Reporter, Panorama, American Photography, Vice, Mother Jones, The Smithsonian and The London Sunday Times.
Deirdre was named “10 Women Who Wrote History With Their Cameras” as part of Visa pour L’image, The International Photojournalism Festival’s 20th Anniversary. Other nominations include The World Press Photo Master Class, The New York Photo Awards, The Moscow International Foto Awards and PDN “30 Under 30″. One of her photographs from Portrait of Humanity was featured in the Worlds’s First Exhibition in Other Space by The British Journal of Photography in 2020. A conceptually trained artist, Deirdre work occupies a space between documentary and fiction. Deirdre has always had an anthropological interest in people, their lives and stories. Storytelling, social justice and politics have always been integral of her photographic practice.
Deirdre is currently working on a long term photo documentary entitled “Following Ulysses”, utilising the map and structure of James Joyce’s novel to consider politics, race and class in modern Dublin.
Fernanda Liberti is a Brazilian artist working with photography and video. In 2013 she moved to London to pursue her degree in Photography at London College of Communication (UAL). Having graduated with honours, and a Best in show award for her series 'FFF', Fernanda has continued her education at Royal College of Art where she got her MA in Photography in 2022, focusing her research on the Tupinambá capes. In 2022, she was selected as one of Dior's Laureates, won the British Journal of Photography International Photo Award and Portrait of Humanity.
Growing up in Rio, she was surrounded by the rain forest and the beach whilst also living within a chaotic metropolitan city; this contrast between the natural and man-made world is a recurring theme that she explores in her work. Her photographs, videos, and collages invite the viewer to immerse themselves in the realities that they offer.
From forests and waterfalls to human bodies and surreal settings: her work is an attempt to understand our relationship to the ever-shifting environments in which we live. A study to explore post-colonial roles and experiences of people of colour, women and LGBTQ+ people in the twenty-first century.
Fernanda Soto Mastrantonio
Is a 34 years old photographer based in Chile.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 23, 1992, Gavin Doran and his identical twin brother, Chase, spent their formative years between the sun-kissed beaches of Destin, Florida, and the idyllic setting of their grandmother's lake house in Georgia.
It was in the heart of the American South that Gavin's curiosity blossomed, forging his path as a visionary photographer and cultivating the resilience needed to chase his dreams. Now splitting his time between his Brooklyn, New York studio and his home in St. Petersburg, FL, Gavin's passion for capturing the human condition transcends borders as he embarks on global assignments and campaigns. With a keen eye for detail and a natural ability to evoke the essence of his subjects, Gavin's empathetic approach creates powerful images that resonate with viewers.
For Gavin, photography is more than a creative medium; it's a philosophy that enables a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world. He finds beauty in the mundane and encourages gratitude in every situation, helping others to discover their unique artistic voice.
Gavin's outstanding work has earned him prestigious accolades, including the 2023 British Journal of Photography's 'Portrait of Humanity' award and the 2022 'Decade of Change' award, which spotlights the global impacts of climate change. In addition, Gavin received recognition when winning the Life Framer 'Human Body' and 'Street Photography' competitions in 2022. Eager to explore new creative frontiers, he looks forward to collaborating with clients and pushing the boundaries of the art form he holds dear.
Growing up observing and interacting with nature around her home in rural Transylvania, Iringó is fascinated by shape, form and feelings. She explores life - living and still. Her work often abstracts the familiar, inviting to question and reconsider the usual ways we are looking at ourselves and what surrounds us. She divides her time between the UK and US, devotedly working with her clients and collaborators to inspire change and growth through every commission and project she is involved in. In 2020, in collaboration with Libraryman, Iringó launched her first book, she is warm.
Joseph P. Smith
Joseph P. Smith is a photographer and artist absorbed in an artistic quest that comprises photography and the visual arts. Joe, as he is more popularly known, studied art and design in Malta and Florence where he was awarded scholarship in 1983.
He has been in photography since 1979. He is a member of the Malta Photographic Society of which he won the coveted Photographer of the Year Award in 1995 and also a Fellow of the Malta Institute of Professional Photographers. He has a strong preference for monochrome photography especially that depicting the performing arts and his name has become synonymous with evocative pictures of Jazz musicians who performed in the Malta Jazz Festival. Joe has been the official photographer since the first edition in 1991.
Joe has lectured, judged and exhibited extensively locally and abroad and has had work published in various publications. In 2009 he published his first book called “Survivors” which is a photo documentary on the ageing population of Birgu, a medieval walled town in Malta.
Kelly-Ann Bobb is an analog freelance photographer based in New York and Trinidad and Tobago. She has always had a natural inclination toward creativity. After completing medical school, she fell in love with the unending complexities of film photography. Bobb utilizes photography as a tool for unmasking, telling stories that would not otherwise be told. Revealing as much of herself as the subjects she photographs.
Bobb's photography has evolved into one of her greatest forms of creative expression. Her choice of analog photography as her creative medium is intentional and stands to validate the existence of her subjects. Her works have been published by the British Journal of Photography, Amateur Photographer, Der Greif, Forgotten Lands, and many others.
Kelly-Ann’s work has been exhibited internationally in the SECCA museum in South Carolina and Verzasca Switzerland. The Central Bank Museum of Trinidad and Tobago acquired her image entitled African Spiritual for its permanent collection.
Kristina Varaksina explores the vulnerabilities, insecurities and self-search of a woman and an artist. Her work is a creative response to what’s going on in the world and her immediate environment. Through visual symbolism, carefully curated colour palettes and thoughtful lighting she reflects the strongest emotions she and her subjects experience.
Varaksina was born in Yekaterinburg, Russia. In her home town, she studied Visual Arts as an undergraduate and went on to receive her Master’s in Photography from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, in 2013. She currently lives and works in London.
Varaksina gives voice to subjects from different ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds. She sees her job as a photographer to make “ordinary” people more visible and therefore, more valuable. Her aim is to redefine what beauty means in today’s visual world, what we find truly beautiful and how important it is to be unique. Commissions include: TIME Women of the Year – Amal Clooney, Zahra Joya, The BBC – “The Real Mo Farah”, The Guardian – Diane Morgan, The Telegraph, Harper’s Bazaar, Paper Magazine – Muslim Beauty Uncovered, L’Officiel, WSJ.
Laurent Nilles is an award-winning travel photographer from Luxembourg, whose passion it is to capture the diversity of cultures all over the world with his camera. His photos and stories have been published in magazines such as GEO (France), animan (Switzerland), Le Temps d'un Voyage (France), revue (Luxembourg) and The Travel Club (UK) and his work has been recognized in many international exhibitions, among which the British Journal of Photography's prestigious Portrait of Humanity award or the Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) award. In 2022, his solo exhibition "Devotion" on religious beliefs worldwide was part of the programme of the European Capital of Culture Esch 2022 and has been largely acclaimed by visiting audiences. He has also been awarded the AFIAP distinction by the International Federation of Photographic Art.
My work centers around landscape and portrait photography. Taking inspiration from the world at large and leaving it up to the viewer whether he engages with the proposed work. While it’s roots may lay in the past, the approach is highly personal and in the present. Revealing a sense of identity and being. Reaching out but never accommodating. At most facilitating.
Lucia Jost (born 1998) is a portrait and reportage photographer from Berlin. In her work she deals a lot with analog processes and the female gaze through the camera.
Thereby she lifts the people around her on a big stage and plays with nostalgic stagings and a dramatic visual language.
She graduated with a degree in photography in the summer of 2022, and now works as a freelance photographer. Her work has been published in VICE International, Marie Claire Korea, Die Berliner Zeitung, Max Magazine, and Graine de Photographe, among others. Inspired by the subculture of her hometown Berlin and the creatives of her generation,
Lucia particularly enjoys exploring the connection between women and the city. In her portraits and essays she shows the viewer different facets of femininity and deals with themes such as friendship, the metropolis, motherhood, sexuality and emancipation.
Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo
Mahdiyeh Afshar Bakeshloo (Persian: مهدیه افشار بکشلو)is an Iranian fine art photographer. She was born in 1995 in Tehran (Iran). Bakeshloo's work consists of black and white photo, mostly in a fine art and conceptual style featuring photo manipulation. Her work reflects human feelings and emotions, and is inspired by painters such as Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.
Marcio Pimenta is an explorer and photographer. His work is dedicated to witnessing the history of humanity, marked by conquests and losses.
Based in southern Brazil. His work has been featured in numerous print and online publications around the world, including National Geographic, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and El País. He has received awards for his environmental reporting. In 2016 and 2017 he was in Iraq to cover the war against ISIS and the rebirth of Yazidi women. This work resulted in his first photographic book, published in 2020, “Yazidis”.
Philippa James’ work and interest explore women, feminism, and more recently teenage girls. Her first body of work, 100 Women of Oxford (2020) has just been published into a photo book by The North Wall Arts Centre. In 2021 James was nominated for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize with The Door of Opportunity. This portrait belonged to a funded project; We Cannot Walk Alone, which was exhibited at Arts at the Old Fire Station in Oxford during Refugee Week 2021. In January 2023 James had a work-in-progress solo exhibition at The North Wall Arts Centre of her ongoing project Girlhood, where is asked viewers to participate in the conversation regarding sexism and sexual harassment that surrounds teenage girls. She is currently studying MA in photography at Falmouth University and will graduate in August 2023.
Rona Bar & Ofek Avshalom
Rona Bar & Ofek Avshalom are a photography duo living and working in London, UK. Drawing on a storytelling-based approach to the photographic medium, the two are continuously striving to engage viewers from all backgrounds in a journey into their visual world. Suspended between fantasy and reality, the factual and the bizarre, their universe immerses whoever comes across it in a blend of surreal visions, daily experiences, and artistic references which all contribute to making their signature style and aesthetic vocabulary so naturally captivating. With a preference for striking colour palettes and researched lighting techniques, Bar and Avshalom portray life around them through an honest, distinct, and all-encompassing gaze. Leveraging their knowledge of art history and combining it with their natural inclination toward all-around contemporary culture, they restitute a visual rendition of today’s society that is at once poignant and thought-provoking in its nature. Also known as Fotómetro, the duo looks at their craft as a means of advocating the urge for a more diverse and authentic global community; a mission that the photographers pursue on a day-to-day basis by casting non-models for both their personal (eg. Proof of Existence - ongoing; Us, 2020-2022; Tell Me Where Your Freedom Lies, 2022; Youth, 2021) and commercial work. Turning the lens onto themes such as identity, individuality, and relationships, their practice wants to be a mirror for the infinite facets of the human experience, pushing the boundaries of gender, race, and sexuality among others.
Sane Seven is an award-winning female photographer focussing on gender equality and diversity in advertising, media, business, and politics. She works in tandem with her feminist husband and creative partner Marius. Sane has gained international recognition for her portraits of women that evoke vulnerability and tenderness together with strength and tenacity. Her work has received numerous international awards, including Gold at the New York Photography Awards in 2021 and London Photography Awards in 2022.
Stella Asia Consonni
Stella Asia Consonni is a director and photographer based between NYC and London. Stella was born and raised in a small town in Northern Italy, close to the Alps. At the age of 14, a camera became her favourite excuse to skip Ancient Greek class as she captured her restless friends and their journeys into adulthood. A couple of years later, Stella held her first solo exhibition in Milan with a collection of these images. At 19, Stella packed up her camera, gave a big kiss to her mamma, and moved to London to attend photography at University of the Arts (with the help of Google Translate). Photography served as Stella’s introduction to filmmaking, the medium granting her the opportunity to dive deeper into the themes and ideas she grew up cherishing. To this date, Stella has directed and shot for the likes of i-D, Dazed & Confused, Nowness, Vogue Italia, British Vogue and Vogue China, along with campaigns for Gucci, Burberry, Prada, Armani, Nike, Adidas, Sony Music, Atlantic Records and Google. Representing raw humanity is what drives Stella’s work, in all its tumultuous and delicate aspects.
Supratim Bhattacharjee is an award winning photographer who focuses on in-depth visual storytelling projects specializing in environmental and humanitarian issues pertaining to climate change. To let the world know the degradation his beloved homeland known for its picturesque went through due to climate change; Supratim started his first project on Sundarbans. His projects are usually long-term depicting environmental, social, and humanitarian issues. His first long-term project ‘Sinking Sundarbans’ (2009 - Ongoing) has been appreciated widely and is an eye-opener for global climate activists. This environmental and humanitarian project got selected as the “UNICEF photo of the year”, 2021. This project depicts how the world’s biggest mangrove region is under the threat of rapid climatic change. His work has already been shown at major environmental conferences and he has won a Royal Photographic Society award in the UK and Chris WainWright prize for climate change. He has also captured the damage that fossil fuel extraction has caused & its deadly impact on the environment. Depicted on his yet another long term project called- ‘Curse of Coal’ (2014- Ongoing). This environmental and humanitarian project has been selected as the “UNICEF photo of the year”, 2020. His works were displayed in the Climate Adaptation Summit and Global Center on Adaptation, The Netherlands. His environmental and humanitarian initiatives have inspired decision-makers to act in the interest of humanity. He intends to portray the grim reality of human life in South Asian nations moving forward with the utmost honesty while upholding the dignity of the human race.
Documentary and Portrait Photographer. Tamsyn explores issues through photographic storytelling and portraiture. She is inspired by social issues and community, in particular exploring identity, belonging, mental health, addiction and feminism. She is a recent winner of The British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain award 2022.
Born in Zimbabwe and based in South Africa, Tatenda Chidora is a commercial, fine art and fashion photographer whose contemporary style is representative of the global movement hailed as ‘new African photography’. He’s driven by creating a more diverse picture and inspired by the stories and faces of the African metropolis. His striking visuals, often shot from new and unexpected angles make heroes of his subjects. At the core of his practice is light; a marathon runner, he studies light from the road in the early mornings and evenings and is moved by the way it cuts curves into a face or a landscape. In turn he commands natural light or studio lighting to paint black skin luminous. There’s a richness of tone in his work whether it’s shot in colour or his beloved black and white. Tatenda studied photography at the Tshwane University of Technology completing his BTech in 2015, but he remains a humble student of the medium through assisting and shooting in various genres of photography while carving out a style of his own. Working between genres keeps him nimble and versatile; he brings a fine art sensibility to his fashion photography and an editorial edge to his portraiture which champions unconventional beauty. His subjects are often people he discovers on the street and finds interesting. Tatenda has a deep love for making portraits for its opportunity to engage with a subject. “I try not to just photograph people,” he says. “I try to connect with them.” His muse is the everyday which he endeavours to translate and elevate through his lens.
Tom Marshak (b.1982) is an intuitive photographer living and working in London, UK. He uses the camera to better understand the world around him and feels very deeply about people. His work is driven by his personal discoveries of strangeness in everyday life and a fascination with the contradictions and opposites found within social and cultural landscapes. Tom is Operating both analogue and digital photography, able to portray human subjects, landscapes and objects, respecting their nature. A minimalist and essential approach is what he appreciates and investigates through his work. In 2019 he published his first artist book ‘A Diary’, based on the ongoing documentary project he began in 2011. The book was presented at the White Chapel Gallery and The Photographers Gallery Bookshops in London. The project was also presented in different international group exhibitions. The British Journal of Photography nominated Tom for ‘The Ones To Watch’ award in 2021, and for the winning portrait of the Portraits Of Humanity award in 2023.
Vikram Kushwah is an India born photography artist based in England. He spent his formative years in boarding school in the hills of northern India. Vikram moved to London in 2008 for a PG diploma in photography at the London College of Communication before completing an MA in Photography at the University for the Creative Arts, Rochester in 2010. He has since been practicing in the UK and India between fashion, art, and portrait photography. He was shortlisted by the National Portrait Gallery, London for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2019. He was winner of Portrait of Humanity 2023, and Portrait of Britain 2018 and 2019 (awarded by the British Journal of Photography).
Belfast Exposed is supported by Belfast City Council and the Arts Council for Northern Ireland. This exhibition has been made possible through the support of the British Journal of Photography.