Artists join forces to raise awareness of press freedom

A new t-shirt campaign aimed at raising awareness of press freedom and human rights has been launched this month by MOTHER Magazine.

The t-shirts on offer has been designed by three prominent young creatives – namely British artist Ed Atkins, Russian rebel author Slava Mogutin, and Sang Bleu editor Reba Maybury. Their merchandise will be on sale until December 1st, with 100 per cent of profits being divided equally between the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Reporters Without Borders and Kaleidoscope Trust.

Design by Ed Atkins

Design by Ed Atkins

According to a spokesperson for MOTHER, the charities were chosen for their incredible work towards promoting freedom of information, media transparency, and LGBTQ rights.

“These are concepts currently under threat, and we wanted to fight back in some way,” they … Read the rest

Confronting the shocking everyday violence of Honduras

I was born in Honduras, Tegucigalpa in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch in 1999. A year later, my family moved to Brighton in the UK, where I have since spent most of my life.

From a young age, I’d heard a lot about the problems in Central America – especially in Honduras, which is often called the “most violent country in the world.” Growing up, I couldn’t understand what was driving people to behave this way or where this violence was coming from.

This year, after turning 18, I returned to Honduras for two weeks to find out more about my country of birth. Even though my Spanish is a bit broken and I wear very British clothes, it was only my shock that … Read the rest

The hidden African history captured by one maverick photographer

In 2011, a box of old photographs changed my life. I spend every summer in South Africa but this particular one was difficult because I experienced a lot of violence, including a carjacking which caused damage to one eye.

People in New York wanted me to come home but I knew from experience that something good usually happens in the last week of every visit. I had bought a stack of photographs in Cape Town and my friend’s daughter said,“You know what? I have this collection of negatives I should give you.”

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They’d been sitting in a garage for 15, 20 years. I pulled out a few, held them up to the light and started freaking out. They were so strong, even in that form.… Read the rest

Asia’s first major LGBTQ exhibition is opening this week

In a historical move, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei will be the first major-scale public institution in Asia to host an art exhibition entirely focused on the history and struggles faced by the continent’s LGBTQ community.

Spectrosynthesis – Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now has been in the works for over two years, and will showcase 51 creations by 22 artists hailing from Taiwan, Singapore, China and Hong Kong, as well as Chinese-American artists based in North America.

The MOCA Taipei website explains: “The exhibition represents the life stories and related issues of the post-war Chinese LGBTQ community as the artworks on view touch upon a profusion of subject matters such as identity, equality, exploitation by mass media, social predicaments, comments on individuals/groups, human desire, … Read the rest

Behind the scenes at America’s new legal cannabis farms

As the daughter of a pot farmer, Kristen Angelo practically grew up in a grow room. The Seattle-based photographer was exposed to cannabis culture at a young age as her family resided on Vashon Island, an enclave of bohemian-living that’s long been associated with guerilla farming. But in the 90s, the Island became swept up in a drug war that ended with Angelo’s father incarcerated in Federal Prison, for what the lead detective considered “the most sophisticated growing operation” he had seen in nearly a decade.

Today, as legislation surrounding cannabis is in a state of flux, Angelo has embraced photography as a way to challenge stigma around the plant. By cutting through the trippy visuals and over-sexed boob/bud shots and instead profiling growers and their … Read the rest

The fabulous NHS nurses demanding to be paid fairly

As the first Prime Minister’s Questions after the long summer recess kicked off inside the House of Commons, just outside the Palace of Westminster this afternoon it was all kicking off too.

Hundreds of nurses converged on Parliament today to demand an end to the 1% public sector pay cap, the latest step in a summer filled with actions led by members of the Royal College of Nursing to have this policy scrapped. The representative body for nurses in the UK says that seven years of tight pay caps have resulted in a real terms pay cut of 14% for the medics on the frontline of the National Health Service.

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On the grass of Parliament Square, healthcare professionals and their supporters piled on the pressure, as … Read the rest

Laura Pidcock is right, Tory MPs aren’t friendship material

Before I start this article properly, here’s the obligatory disclaimer: some of my best friends are Conservative voters. Well, maybe not best friends exactly, but acquaintances I’m happy spending time with. I sometimes find it hard to understand the assumptions underpinning their worldview, but I’ve spent enough time around Tories (including proper, paid-up party members) to know they aren’t all cruel and spiteful people.

Also, my ex-coalminer grandad votes UKIP. I think I actually do understand most of the assumptions underpinning his worldview and some of them aren’t particularly admirable. I still love him, though, because that’s just how it is with family, isn’t it? You don’t get to choose them.

Friends are different. Throughout your life you encounter people in a range of different situations: … Read the rest

Inside China’s brutally cramped ‘home and work’ spaces

It was the run-down, beat-up back streets that first caught Alina Fedorenko’s attention. Hidden behind Beijing’s impressive high rises and new builds, they were leagues away from the tourist traps typically associated with the city. These streets – which were cramped, claustrophobic, stuck in another time – gave the Ukrainian photographer a rarely seen glimpse into the everyday lives of many Chinese citizens.

“In Beijing’s old quarter, named the Hutong area, people still live life like many years ago,” Alina explains. “Surviving and living here is not easy as many people have relocated to high buildings to have proper sanitation systems, which most of the houses in the Hutong area don’t have. Those who are left have created a beautiful symbiosis of working and living in … Read the rest

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

Read the rest

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