Building a career as a self-taught photographer

“I’m a workaholic… but I work by my own rules,” says Lola Paprocka, sipping a cup of tea in Huck’s 71a Gallery. “It’s really hard for me to obey.”

DIY has become second nature for Lola since moving to London from Poland at the age of 18, when she could barely speak English. “I never really felt like I belonged anywhere,” she says. “I always felt like a bit of a weirdo who didn’t fit in.”

Within a few years, Lola was managing tattoo shops and meeting like-minded creatives, figuring out her own path. In 2010, she inherited her first camera – an old Zenit belonging to her mum – before a trip to Australia.

Tentatively, Lola began to shoot drunk friends here and there

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Does Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron really hate gays?

When the Liberal Democrats last week launched their general election campaign, no doubt they had high hopes and expectations. Despite having just nine seats in the British Parliament since their poor show at the 2015 general election, it seemed that for the Lib Dems the tide might finally be turning.

As the only one of the main parties to be demanding Britain’s impending exit from the European Union be halted, their hope is to appeal to swathes of the remain-voting 48%. It’s a fairly sizeable chunk of the population.

But it seems that for Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, gay sex just keeps getting in the way.

He’s been asked countless times now whether as a deeply religious Christian he thinks gay sex is a sin, … Read the rest

The liberal redneck killing stereotypes with humour

Trae Crowder uses comedy to disarm people on both sides of the Facebook News Feed. Growing up in a small town on the edge of Tennessee, he felt like a blue dot in a sea of red.

Today he plays a character called the Liberal Redneck who rallies against bigotry and hypocrisy in the South, while also challenging liberal stereotypes of the region.

Crowder had been doing standup comedy for six years before he decided to point a camera at himself, branching into porch rants about Southerners – racking up hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, of views in the process.

The 30-year-old has exposed double standards in everything from the way ‘rednecks’ view Black Lives Matter – “This has been framed largely as Black Lives … Read the rest

Celebrating 70 years of Magnum Photos in New York

Martin Parr, Henri Cartier Bresson, David Alan Harvey, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth, Jim Goldberg, Bruce Davidson.

When it comes to photography it’s hard to draw up a more impressive shopping list of names.

USA. New York City. 1951. A new face for the new world. Photo by Dennis Stock.

USA. New York City. 1951. A new face for the new world. Photo by Dennis Stock.

USA. New York City. 1956. Wall Street. Photo by Leonard Freed.

USA. New York City. 1956. Wall Street. Photo by Leonard Freed.

But they are just some of the legends past and present to join the ranks of Magnum Photos, and now in their 70th year the collective is celebrating its history and just how far it has come. In an exhibition – Early Magnum: On & In New York – Magnum looks back at the city that shaped it, a chance to take stock and reflect on … Read the rest

The story of Secret Garden Party in the words of those who helped make it

Three festival insiders share their personal highlights from Secret Garden Party’s humble beginnings, to its acclaim as the granddaddy of luxury festivals.

Laura Thorne, “Where The Wild Things Are” stage, 14-year Secret Garden Party veteran: [My first SGP] I was going as a driver, just someone to give people lifts. It was so secret, really hard to get to, and we travelled miles. When we got there it was just incredible — such an explosion of senses.

Ben DeVere, founder of SGP’s talks and radio station, 12-year veteran: I started off purely as a “fun-buster,” turning up with loads of friends in fancy dress, running a bar and DJ-ing. Then slowly, I got more and more involved and somehow my career became intertwined with the festival.… Read the rest

If Labour loses this election, MPs still criticising Corbyn must take a share of the blame

It’s no secret that a fair number of MPs in the Labour Party are less than pleased to have Jeremy Corbyn as their leader. It was an uphill struggle for the then backbencher to even make it onto the leadership ballot paper back in June 2015, reliant on a host of his fellow parliamentarians who professed not to support him for nominations to hit the threshold needed to get in the race.

Since then the frustration of his colleagues has  anything but died down; there have been coups, briefings against him and calls for his resignation in abundance. But despite his critics, some might even argue because of them, he’s survived.

There have been no successful attempts to unseat him, when asked again whether Labour members … Read the rest

How globalised agriculture is ruining lives in South America

Not much remains of Guayaqui Cuá in southeastern Paraguay. As fires continue to smoulder, wisps of smoke float over the charred slats of a wooden bed, burnt personal possessions and a few sombre peasants living under makeshift plastic tents, which are all that’s left of this small rural community.

Two days ago, security men from the nearby cattle ranch and local police officers, under orders of a large estate owner, moved in without notice to evict the community and raze their properties to the ground, explains a tearful María Lina Estorales. Sitting despondently on the dirt floor and wiping rivers of tears from her face, she’s trying to work out what to do next – surrounded by members of the other 21 families who lost their … Read the rest

Welcome to Lagos: Africa’s new skate hotspot

It’s all kicking off in Lagos right now. From fashion to food, film and hip hop, Africa’s creative renaissance is well and truly alive in the Nigerian capital.

Yet when it comes to skateboarding, there’s an palpable void. Home to a staggering 21 million people, and holding the title of Africa’s most populous city, Lagos – or Las Gidi, to locals in the know – might just be the biggest city in the world without a skate park.TB_2TB_6

But local crew Wafflesncream are in the process of changing that – and fighting to help Lagos punch its weight on the global skate scene. After dropping Jide, the very first homegrown Nigerian skate edit last year, the Wafflesncream family took things to new heights when they … Read the rest

What it’s like to rescue people from drowning in the Mediterranean

It’s a strange thing, waiting. Sitting and wishing your time away feels contrary to any sensible approach to living your life. But last Wednesday evening that’s all I was doing. Sitting and waiting, desperate to conserve my energy, to control my levels of adrenaline, conscious of how soon all my reserves would be needed, how at this point there was far more at stake then a few precious hours of my life.

Our crew of 15 only met each other on Tuesday, but now just two days later we’re arriving into the Search and Rescue zone, some 12 nautical-miles off the Libyan coast. For the first time in the history of our boat, The Iuventa, she has a crew aboard that is a majority women; nine … Read the rest

Capturing what it means to be young and in London in 2017

When photographer Julian Mährlein thinks about youth, his mind doesn’t instantly turn to the boring, tired stereotypes we’ve seen time and time again. Not the endless images commenting on social media obsessed teens, not the detached portraits of subcultures and expensive street fashion. Instead, when Julian thinks about youth, he’s all about neutrality and earnestness – a genuine wish to portray and understand, rather than judge or imply.

That perspective was particularly scarce when he started his London Youth series, right after the riots hit the capital back in the summer of 2011. While major media outlets focused on depicting young, tracksuit clad British people as savage beings getting off on mindless vandalism, ‘the most unpleasant and violent in the world’, Julian set out to … Read the rest