Conference: Photographing Britain

12:00pm - 05:30pm, Fri 10 May 2024

One-day conference on celebrated documentary and press photography Bert Hardy

Black and white photograph of a woman working amongst the broken glass of a tailor’s shop

Conference: Photographing Britain

12:00pm, Fri 10 May 2024

One-day conference on celebrated documentary and press photography Bert Hardy

Rethink existing narratives concerning post-war photography and its legacies in this day-long event.

Known for his work on the seminal British publication Picture Post, Bert Hardy is a pivotal figure in British photography. We will examine the formal qualities of Hardy’s photographs and the material conditions in which they were produced, reflecting, too, on discussions surrounding photojournalism to expand contemporary debates related to image-making today.

Key themes include ethics of social documentary practices; image circulation and the printed image; and broader questions on representation and methodologies in photojournalism.

Contributions from Rosalind Coffey, Rio Creech-NowagielMax Houghton, Beatrice LattanziDarren Newbury, Sarah OkpokamAlexia Singh. More updates to come. 

With support from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art


Rio Creech-Nowagiel, "‘A Planter in Malaya’s Terror’: Representations of colonial plantation warfare in postwar Britain (1948-60)"

Rio Creech-Nowagiel is the fourth year of an AHRC-funded PhD studentship with Imperial War Museums and the department of Journalism, Media & Culture at Cardiff University. Rio’s PhD project explores the diverse forms of visual culture produced in Britain around colonial wars fought in defence of the Empire, focusing on the so-called ‘Malayan Emergency’ (a 12-year independence war that broke out in 1948 in the region known now as Malaysia and Singapore). Alongside PhD research, Rio works as a curator and cultural producer. Past projects included a community-led photography exhibition at The Curve Gallery in Slough exploring the lives & legacies of Polish refugees resettled in Britain after the Second World War.

Rosalind Coffey, "Press Representations of Britain in Africa during the ‘wind of change’"

Dr Rosalind Coffey is a Guest Teacher in the Department of International History at the LSE. Previously, she held a Senior Teaching Fellowship in African History at SOAS. Rosalind’s research examines the links between British newspaper coverage of Africa, public opinion, politics and culture.

Max Houghton, "Dreams of Nations and Other Imaginary States"

Max Houghton is a writer, curator and editor working with the photographic image as it intersects with politics, law and human rights. She runs the MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, where she is also co-founder of research hub Visible Justice. Her writing appears in publications by The Photographers’ Gallery and the Barbican, as well as in the international arts press, including Granta, Foam, 1000 Words, BJP and The Eyes. She is co-author of Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now (Thames and Hudson 2017) and her latest monograph essay is on Mary Ellen Mark (Steidl 2023). She is undertaking doctoral research into the image and law at University College London and is the recipient of the Royal Photographic Society Award for Education (2023).

Darren Newbury, "Travelling Photographic Histories: Between Britain and Apartheid South Africa"

Darren Newbury is Professor of Photographic History at the University of Brighton. He is the author of Defiant Images: Photography and Apartheid South Africa (2009), People Apart: 1950s Cape Town Revisited. Photographs by Bryan Heseltine (2013) and Cold War Photographic Diplomacy: The US Information Agency and Africa (2024); and co-editor of The African Photographic Archive: Research and Curatorial Strategies (2015) and Women and Photography in Africa: Creative Practices and Feminist Challenges (2021). In 2020 he received the Royal Anthropological Institute Photography Committee Award for his contribution to the study of photography and anthropology.

Alexia Singh, "The Evolution of the Conflict Photographer"

Alexia Singh is a senior lecturer for BA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communications. She is a multimedia producer and photo editor with 20 years’ experience leading teams in the news and NGO sectors. She worked as a picture editor for Reuters News Agency where she set up and managed picture desks in London, Paris and Singapore through major world events from the Iraq War to the 2016 migrant crisis. As one of Reuters’ top editors she produced photo books, curated exhibitions and worked on award-winning interactive stories. In 2010 she was appointed Editor-in-Charge of Reuters’ Emmy award-winning website ‘The Wider Image’, leading a team of editors, writers and photographers to create in-depth, interactive, visual storytelling. She has worked as a photo editor and multimedia producer for a range of organisations such as Magnum Photos, WaterAid, DEC and Save the Children.


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