In this issue we are publishing projects by three photographers who examine their own position in relation to the people and situations that they are photographing. To draw this out we have commissioned interviews with them by people who have a professional or personal connection with their work.
The Lisa and John Project is a re-examination of an archive of material from David Moore's Pictures from the Real World made in Derby as his graduate project in 1988. After re-establishing contact with Lisa and John, the focus of the original project, Moore developed a script with them for a stage play that is anchored around a discussion of images they selected from the archive. First performed at Format Festival in Derby the new work also includes an installation of room models, based on the original images and situating the photographer in the scenes.
David O'Mara has spent the last fifteen years since graduating sustaining his photographic practice by working on building sites in London. Throughout this period he has carried his camera to make the time more his own and as a way of remembering what would otherwise be lost in the daily routine. He has looked back over this archive of material to edit together a new piece of work If you can piss… that documents his experience in the construction industry.
Louis Quail's project Big Brother explores his brother Justin's struggle with schizophrenia. For Quail, what distinguishes this work from other documentary projects that he has worked on is that he is part of the story rather than looking in from the outside. Negotiating professional detachment and emotional involvement in a series of images, built on close trust, Quail shows that while mental health is part of Justin's life, it doesn't define it.
This is the season of photography festivals and we have reviews of the latest events in Cardiff, Belfast and Derby. The BBC have also just broadcast their first significant photography series since The Genius of Photography in 2007; Annebella Pollen charts the changing attitude to the medium on television. Finally, David Brittain samples the latest clutch of new photography magazines. Who are they for?