Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long. -- Walker Evans

Friday, April 13, 2012

Simon Wheatley: Inner City Youth

Simon Wheatley joined Magnum in 2005 and continues to work and live in England, although he is no longer with Magnum.

From Professional Photographer
Simon Wheatley spent more than a decade shooting the harsh realities of inner-city life in London which have given birth to the grime music scene. His new book DON'T CALL ME URBAN! tells the story of the poverty, violence and gang culture from which the music genre has emerged. Here he talks about capturing the lives of his subjects. 

Interview Excerpts
My upbringing was very different from that of the people in the book.... You could say I'm a bad guy, but I went with good intentions, I wanted to tell the story of the inner city, I want my book to provoke debate.... When I decided to end the project I did feel there was really nothing more to photograph, but I was also tired of the moral compromise of being close to situations that I objected to but being powerless to affect them.... I'm learning that in photography what counts is one's connection with a subject. It can take time to connect. [Read interview]

Magnum in Motion
features a slide show of Simon's Inner City Youth essay, with excellent narration by him. [View slide show]

[View Don't Call Me Urban! website]

Don't Call Me Urban! is available at Fishpond for $48.99 NZ.

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