Tate launches new publishing series with a quartet of photobooks exploring community and solidarity

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Liz Johnson Artur, Sheba Chhachhi, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen and Sabelo Mlangeni have all released titles, which each include a conversation between the photographer and a Tate curator

Tate Publishing has introduced a new number of photography books – The particular Tate Photography Series – exploring rolling themes concerning ongoing social issues. Released in groupings of 4, the first quartet – showcasing Liz Johnson Artur, Sheba Chhachhi, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen plus Sabelo Mlangeni – discover community and solidarity throughout diverse territories.

Each publication shares the same format: a short introduction, followed by a conversation between the photographer and a Tate curator, and completed with a portfolio of images from or multiple series.  

Below, we take a nearer look into the first round associated with releases.

Liz Johnson Artur

Liz Johnson Artur’s new series Time Don’t Run Here was made in the summer associated with 2020 during the Black Life Matter protests. Various Greater london neighbourhoods are featured – Peckham Rye, Vauxhall, Westminster and Trafalgar Square – with irrepressible pumped fists and placards held aloft. A devastating sign with a young Black boy scans: WHEN DO I TURN THROUGH CUTE 2 SUSPECT!

“The reason we still discuss the 1968 generation and demonstrations is because they were recorded for time to come, and I desired the same connection, ” Artur noted in a dialogue along with Tate’s director of photography Yasufumi Nakamori, which is released in the book.  

The photographer subtly adds an interesting coating: she laces in sources to conflict literature – namely Iris Murdoch’s The Red and The Green (1965) and John Harris’s Trip out the Storm: A Novel of Dunkirk (1975) – printing the visuals on braille editions of the two titles, thus tying the protest movement to some wider history of unrest. This series is part of what Artur calls her Black Balloon Archive, an ongoing body of work depicting contemporary generations from African and Caribbean diaspora completed in capital cities across the world.

Sheba Chhachhi

“I have always been drawn to ‘odd’ women. I feel an appreciation, a resonance with females who don’t fit the norm – perhaps recognising aspects of myself – and this is certainly reflected in my photographic work, ” Chhachhi stated, in the conversation with Beatriz Cifuentes Feliciano that is published in the book.  

Chhachhi’s works champions women in front of her camera and behind it, given her fierce involvement in feminist workshops, protests, and anti-dowry campaigns. “I was a participant as much as a documentarian, ” she said. “I would be shouting a slogan one moment and raising the camera the next! ” Chhachhi is also a who trust in creating collaborative staged photographs, in this way giving the subject the agency of self-representation.  

This is evident with the three photographic series included the title: Seven Life and a Dream (1980–91), a good exploration of the Indian feminist movement. It is accompanied by pictures from The Green of the Valley is Khaki (1994), a documentation of women within conflict-ridden Kashmir, and Initiation Chronicle (2001–7), and an explain of the transformation of a women sadhus who explicitly refuse their gendered participation within society.

Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

In 1969, Finnish-born photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen cast off her filmmaking course, shifting to Newcastle with a number of idealistic young ex-students to found the Amber group. She embarked on a number of long-term projects, including the girl seminal work on Byker, that was inscribed in the Unesco UNITED KINGDOM Memory of the World Register.  

The work spotlights the particular working-class neighbourhood she resolved in, and scrutinises the troubling redevelopment projects encroaching on Newcastle’s East Finish. These images find their counterpoint in Writing within the Sand (1978–98) – modern outings to the coast as relief from the increasingly rare local industrial labour of shipbuilding and mining.  

“The plan was to give voice to those communities and also to tell their stories, off their perception of who they are, ” Konttinen noted, in a conversation with Thomas Kennedy that is printed in the book. “We all felt strongly that working-class culture was badly symbolized by the British media during the time. ” 

Sabelo Mlangeni

Sabelo Mlangeni functions collaboratively and sensitively along with marginalised sectors of the Southern African (and sometimes Nigerian) population, exploring the spectrum of expression regarding sex, sexuality, and power mechanics. His book reflects the mélange of his collection, from chronicles of LGBTQI+ communities and safe spaces to the women working as night-time street sweepers. Mlangeni has additionally photographed Zionist Christian churchgoers, pursued a long-term body of work on weddings and examined the residents associated with urban men-only shelters.  

His work celebrates quotidian camaraderie and gratification—and the concept of chosen family – despite the disquieting, looming heritage associated with apartheid and homophobia that will continues to inflect society. Mlangeni, notes curator Sarah Allen, is “seeking a new visuality for South African pictures beyond the era of ‘struggle photography’. ” When he joined the exclusive Market Photo Workshop in his youth, “I was released to photography as a way associated with speaking about socio-political issues, ” he told Allen. But , he added, ultimately: “The camera is secondary, simply a tool to allow me to inform stories about the different residential areas that I am part of. ”

Sarah Moroz

Sarah Moroz is a Franco-American journalist and translator located in Paris. Her words were published in the International Nyc Times, the Guardian, Style, NYLON, and others.

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