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52 by 52 8:11am, 19 April 2012
Challenge #34: Use your camera as an excuse to go and spend time with someone that you've always been curious about.
— Olivia Arthur


Olivia adds “It could be someone you know, that you've heard about or that you've seen but never had the courage to talk to.”

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"The award-winning Magnum photographer never imagined her career going this way. Gaining a postgraduate diploma in photojournalism in 2003, she initially headed to India where her mother and diplomat father were based because ‘coming out of college with a student portfolio in London is the worst way to try and start a career’.

But what she saw there, and subsequently captured on camera, would become a theme she has repeatedly returned to. "The way women were treated, I was trying to understand that, trying to understand the motivations and background for it," explains the 31-year-old. "It grew out of seeing some pretty difficult and quite terrible stories."

Since then, Arthur has seen many more terrible and inspiring things, all of which she has continued to capture, and many of which have appeared in newspapers like the Telegraph and Guardian, and been celebrated in exhibitions worldwide."
– Text by Barbara Walshe

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Jeddah Diary (Saudi Arabia)







“Through a selection of anecdotes and photographs, Jeddah Diary opens up the strange and paradoxical world that Saudi girls inhabit. Hidden behind high walls, shrouded in social rules and the ubiquitous abaya, Olivia finds a world inside the bubble which is not as conservative as it might seem. But things are complicated, behaviours are carefully matched to place and circumstance, identities need to be protected and cameras are almost always unwelcome. Steering clear of western cliches about Saudi women, Olivia allows us glimpses into a world that is normally tightly sealed from the eyes of outsiders.”

View the project >

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As well as being a good place to connect with other members and share your initial reactions, thoughts about how to 'solve it' and any links you think might help the group, this can also be a good place to include any old photos you have that fit the challenge. We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts this week.

— 52 by 52 team
TranceGender 6 years ago
Olivia Arthur
1980

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Olivia was born in London and grew up in the UK.
She studied mathematics at Oxford University and photojournalism at the London College of Printing.

In 2003 she moved to Delhi to work as a freelance photographer covering assignments around the Indian Subcontinent.
In 2006 she was invited for a one year residency with Fabrica in Italy, where she began work on ‘the middle-distance’, a project about the lives of young women along the border between Europe and Asia.

For the past two years she has continued to work on a long-term project about women and the east-west cultural divide.

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Olivia Arthur

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Julia M Cameron PRO 6 years ago
These are great images. Thanks for finding these Nick.
Most have a deeper meaning and the light is used to block or ease the viewer into elements of the picture.
First challenge is to find someone to approach and second is to take interesting pictures that are more than just portraits....
bart1eby 6 years ago
Even though I'm relishing the ambiguity of your phrasing -more than 'just' portraits, Julia?
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Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 6 years ago
By "just" I mean devoid of backdrop....sorry if that sounded derogatory in any way!
In the photographs above there is a context, a backdrop, giving information about the women.
They are not isolated from their surroundings. You may have seen that I have been taking portraits with a black background of late. The portraits I have in mind for the Challenge need context and a candid feel.
~ Meredith ~ 6 years ago
This scares the heck out of me :-) I've only just really started approaching strangers in the street. This is gonna be hard!
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Julia M Cameron PRO 6 years ago

work in progress
bart1eby Posted 6 years ago. Edited by bart1eby (member) 6 years ago
Never one to miss the opportunity to push a brief or to look a gift horse in the mouth I thought I'd take the opportunity of being invited to photograph at the TEDxExeter event to spend a short amount of time with a whole bunch of people I was fleetingly curious about. I shot 120 with a view to editing it down to 100. Here are the first 20 -

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