Show Luton to Iraqi's

Posted on by Ben Hodson

Previously in the UK I have showed people what Iraqi people are like: their lives, their places of work and their homes. I have been attempting to go beyond the media and address some of the stereotypes and assumptions. However, there are direct parallels with what I have been doing and early photography’s relationship to colonisation.  I have been researching concepts that touch on colonial and post-colonial theory in art.   I would never support a colonial perspective or celebrate its effect on the world, yet I have regularly mimicked/reflected their actions in my own work. In as much as I have photographed distant and ‘exotic’ lands and brought them back to England to present them as an artefact.  In an attempt to reject colonial patterns developing in my own practice, I have intentionally taken work back to Iraq that was created in Luton and showcased my own culture to local people.  It has become a cultural exchange. The exhibition is part of an on going aim to tell stories and challenge perceptions through my work. 

Reflective thoughts on my wonderlust.

Posted on by Ben Hodson

Locations of where my family and I have travelled to.One of the initial reasons I got into photography was due to my enjoyment of travel and seeing other places.  My parents are well travelled and I grew up travelling to a number of places.  This includes living in India for a couple of years and spending extensive time in France, Southern Africa and central Switzerland.  This desire to have these experiences, very quickly led to my desire to document them.  This obsesive desire to bring back visual record and "evidence" has dominated a lot of my practice as an artist.

This realisation of my conpulsive nature when it comes to photographing everything that goes on has led me to think about this nature in certain people.  This eventually led me to start investigating the relationship between photography and the advance of the European empires.  Colonisation and photography do have an interesting relationship, I am will continue to investigate this further.

Research: Colonialism and Photography

Posted on by Ben Hodson

I have been collecting images in other countries including; Zimbarbwe, Turkey, USA, Morocco and Iraq.  This desire to document the places I have been and bring back images (almost as trophies) has made me start to connect what I am doing with the very history of photography.

As the invention of photography (both Daguerre and Talbot) starting spreading around world, photographers starting using 'field' cameras to take out door photos and record the exotic and far off places.  This ability to give people back home a photorealistic glimpse into these far off lands became appealing.

I have been doing some research into the relationship between early photography and Europe's colonisation of the world.

Some of these early photographers recorded these places in more formal portrait sittings of the local inhabitants. Others choose to document the places in a more 'travel' style.