VENT Studio 

Giles created VENT “out of a place of anger” having spent years photographing active warzones. In a video on the VENT website, he describes his need to progress beyond the basic way photography records events. He wants to use the broader possibilities of the art world to turn the photographs into protest, into a means of generating change. 

The history of art runs parallel to a history of revolutionaries and political activists. Whether each realises or accepts it, one has never truly progressed without the other. In its most essential form, Protest Art is, by definition, about rage, anger, fighting back against systems and policies, making a stand. At its most relevant, art can become an indispensable weapon. 

VENT is an outlet through which stories meet creativity in the hope of generating real change. It’s a way for people to take art back to that undiluted form of communication where it can still shock, vocalise anger and ultimately lead to change.

As for how you can get involved, the concept is simple: Duley provides stories as told and shown to him by those caught up in war. The artist reinterprets particular stories and causes that resonate with them, creating art that makes statements through their own means. There are no rules, no guidelines. Simply respect the story, respect those who’ve told it and work to make sure their voices are heard by those who can really create change.

See some of Giles’ pictures and create your response:

Photo Collections: Legacy of War

Can we even say that wars are over if people are still dying and lives are still disrupted decades after peace treaties are signed?

Legacy of War is a photographic project by the photographer Giles Duley exploring the long-term effects of conflict globally. Most specifically, Legacy of War (LoW) documents the lasting impact of war on individuals and communities told through the stories of those living in its aftermath.

With the mainstream media firmly focussed on the short-term economic and political consequences of conflict, LoW is concerned with the human and the personal. It explores the local landscapes and everyday lives of those affected by conflict – often decades after peace treaties have been signed – and raises issues that are often neglected by mainstream news and history.

Visit the website: 

Photo Collections: La Sape (Société des ambianceurs et des personnes élégantes)

Giles’ photographic vision isn’t limited to the destruction caused by war; he also notes the creativity he finds fighting back against that chaos. 

The story of La Sape in Congo is the story of defiance to colonial rule, war, strife, poverty; it is not about fashion, it’s a statement through style. The Sapeurs are of the same tradition as London punks, the Blitz Club New Romantics or the Voguers of NY City. It’s all about flair, self-designed clothes, DIY styling and wearing everything with attitude. And underlying it all, a resilience and desire to break social norms and taboos. It’s about more than fashion: it’s about identity, politics, self-expression and not being hidden by society. In these clothes, with these looks and moves, the marginalised refuse to be ignored.

“Being elegant is not enough to be a Sapeur – to be a true member of La Sape is about creativity, change, communication and wise choices in life.” – Six Lokato.

Photo Collections: South Sudan Hairdressers 

Despite having no training, seven South Sudanese refuges decided to set up a hair salon in Bidi Bidi refugee camp. The camp, in northern Uganda, near the town of Yumbe, is the second largest refugee camp in the world, where nearly quarter of a million South Sudanese live, the majority since 2016. It is in reality a small city, and with the support of the Ugandan government, UNHCR and other agencies, many small businesses have been set up.

For the women who run the salon, it is so much more than a business. They wanted to build their own community for single mothers. It keeps them busy, stopping them from spending time alone thinking on what has happened. Many have lost family members, husbands, children. They were also creating a place where they could support each other and build their own family.

“It’s difficult for women to talk and tell stories,” explains Sarah, who is something of a mother to the group. “In the salon, when something is wrong, we can tell and so we ask, we talk and together we find answers.”

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