Shooting the street

A man on horseback riding through New York City, voyeuristic CCTV views of unsuspecting bus riders, and a bull on a zebra crossing are just some of the bizarre and fascinating subjects on show as part of the inaugural London Street Festival, which kicks off next month.

The festival will see exhibitions, talks, walks and workshops taking place at different venues across the city, as well as introducing the first ever International Street Photography Award.

Walter Joseph 41 copyright Walter Joseph Collection courtesy the British Library
Walter Joseph 41 copyright Walter Joseph Collection courtesy the British Library

For all those used to the gentrified stylings of Broadway Market (woollen cupcake, anyone?) Walter Joseph’s Street Markets of London in the 1940s in all it’s hare-raising (geddit?); rambunctious glory will provide intriguing viewing.

Joseph, whose works haven’t previously been on display to the public, fled his native Germany with his Orthodox Jewish parents when war broke out. At first he was interned on the Isle of Man, before later finding work in newspaper photographic laboratories and photographing street traders on the side. The photographs in this exhibition are from 1947-8.

Another photographer finding prominence after relative obscurity is Vivian Maier – the nanny-cum-street photographer and silent filmmaker who died in 2009, leaving behind literally hundreds of thousands of unseen negatives.

Geroge Georgiou, Migrations Migrations, (c) George Georgiou, Panos Pictures, Invisible London
Geroge Georgiou, Migrations Migrations, (c) George Georgiou, Panos Pictures, Invisible London

Those with their interest piqued in her work could do far worse than to attend The Story of Vivian Maier – a talk by John Maloof on 1 July. Maloof, the Chicago historian who discovered the archive, will be discussing the work and his ideas of who Vivian Maier was and her photography practice.

The festival takes a voyeuristic turn with the joint show from Mimi Mollica and George Georgiou, both of whom use the often sweaty, grimy interiors of London buses as a vehicle to examine the public and private lives of the Londoners who ride them.

copyright Mimi Mollica Bus Stories
copyright Mimi Mollica Bus Stories

Their show – entitled Seen/Unseen – takes its subject matter from oblivious urbanities, lost in their own thoughts and unaware of their viewers.

Georgiou is also running a five-day workshop as part of the festival: The Global Street and the Long Term Project. Participants will be guided through using the Global Street as a subject and concept for contemporary photographic practice with the specific focus of working towards a long-term project.

Nils Jorgensen 004 copyright  Nils Jorgensen
Nils Jorgensen 004 copyright Nils Jorgensen

Nils Jorgensen’s work, as part of a joint show with Nick Turpin, extends this prurient angle, exploring London eccentricities and quirks. Which, as all Londoners know, the capital certainly isn’t short of.

London Street Photography Festival runs 1st – 31st July at various venues across London. For more information visit www.londonstreetphotographyfestival.com

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