Warwick’s Photography Society have produced a zine, with a collection of images from all over the world, capturing very different contents, all taken in the last year by Warwick students. The zine spans from the political to the abstract, including photos from BLM protests last summer, consequences of Covid-19, and delicate stills of picturesque landscapes. They have also decided that 100% of the profits will go towards NHS charities that target Covid-19 relief.
Some of the photos were amazing, akin to things you would see in National Geographic. Kassa-Darge’s photo (the header here) is completely mesmerising: it shows an angry, turbulent fire in the corner whose smoke lingers over the rest of the image. In the background are the distant figures of police, but up close you see two boys riding their bicycles, ‘popping a wheelie’ (it is part of Philly culture to do so when cycling). There seems to be an air of dismissal and exuberance from them, an act of defiance in the face of men upholding systemic racism.
In contrast, Hsu’s image radiates calm and stillness, as she captures the soothing image of a small boy catching fish in the Philippines. Howards’s layered image in contrast feels tense, as he tries to convey the feeling of being isolated indoors for months. These are just a few of the captivating images that Warwick students have produced.
I got the chance to talk to Iffah Syafiqah Yusof, the president of Warwick Photography Society, about their upcoming zine…
I was shocked by how broad the collection was – there were photos from everywhere!
Yes – especially with the front cover picture (the photos of boys on bikes at the BLM protests). Normally you don’t always feel that connected to events going on around the world, but to know that one of the students at Warwick was there, and saw this, it just closes up the distance.
Your images from the protests are just amazing. I think there must be something quite significant about getting to record these really major life events that are going on around us.
We didn’t expect the quality of the pictures because it was an open application, but it was really nice to see everyone’s work come from everywhere.
How long does a process like this take?
We opened the submissions at the start of term, which closed before Reading Week. And then it took a couple of weeks to put it together. We divided the zine into travel and culture, Covid-19, social cause, and contemporary and abstract. Because we had such variety it felt important to organise it so that there was a narrative, and the stories of the image being brought out.
What inspired you to donate your profits to Covid-19 relief?
We don’t need the money, and so we wanted to put it towards something that mattered. With everything thats going on, we felt that was really important. We wanted to use creativity to give back to the public, whilst our photographers getting the attention they deserve. I guess this is the power of creativity for good.
Do you find that photography is a good outlet for all the stress thats been going on over this last year?
Its hard to say. I know at the peak of quarantine, lots of people were doing similar things like portraits or images of their family where as others found it really difficult to get inspired or to see beauty in the world when everything was so bleak. But then again, lots of people went on their walks and could see small details of beauty that would otherwise be overlooked.
How can you get a copy?
We are still in the ordering stage, so those details will be coming out later.