15th November 2023 7pm
101 Queen Caroline Street
London W6 9BN
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We’re delighted to welcome Acacia Diana and Chelsea Pineda to the 37th edition of the Photojournalism Nights.
Acacia Diana is a visual artist whose work explores culture, identity, travel and the built environment. An enthusiastic advocate of exploring the world, she has worked with numerous global brands to create and curate images, as well as developed a portfolio of photographs on international humanitarian missions. She is a 2023 Canon EOS Master and was listed in 2022 by Tatler Asia as an inspiring female photographer making a social impact. Her works have been displayed in Amsterdam, London and Kuala lumpur.
Travelling around the world to capture culture and community, Acacia will be presenting a curation of photographs, themed ‘Colours of Community’, that focuses on the Muslim celebration of Ramadan in London and Eid in Tanzania, in between touching on a selected humanitarian work images in Syria and Turkey.
In this theme, Acacia delves into the tapestry of Muslim life in London during the sacred month of Ramadan in 2023. She followed the Ramadan Tent Project, a community non-profit, as they orchestrated the Open Iftar event across the city’s revered landmarks. Muslims and non-Muslims from diverse backgrounds converged to break their fast together, harmoniously bridging divides. At every meal, the ethereal call to prayer, the Azan, resounded through the cityscape, leading the faithful to publicly commune in prayer. In 2022, Acacia was with a mission team to donate meat to the muslim community in Tanga, Tanzania with Impactive Malaysia, for the celebration of Eid. The vibrant festivities are an annual hallmark, as most in the community live below the poverty line and are not able to afford meat.
Chelsea Pineda is a Filipina-American artist whose work encompasses photography, writing and performance. Her practice explores the intimacies of cultural identity, familial relationships and memory. She is based between London and New York City, and graduated from London College of Communication with an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography in 2023. Previously, she was a supervising producer at Insider (formerly Business Insider) overseeing production and post-production for the video team. With a background in journalism and art, she centers narrative and identity in her approach to photography, film and writing as it spans across fine art, editorial and commercial spaces.
In the Photojournalism Nights, Chelsea will share “Barako”, which explores themes of masculinity and paternal relationships through the exploration of her father’s experiences street fighting in the 1960s and 1970s Philippines. Growing up at a time when the “tough guy” archetype was idolized, her father was engrossed in his boxing training. Having never backed down from a fight, he utilized these skills to protect himself from other men throughout his youth, but also fought as a way to cope with his anger towards his father, who physically disciplined him at home.
“Barako” moves through various fights throughout Chelsea’s father’s youth, including his first fight at five years old over a game of marbles and a spontaneous street fight with a professional boxer in college — all the while exploring other memories significant to his boyhood. His final fight took place when he was 24 years old — a brawl with 10 men outside his father’s funeral viewing. Weeks later, her father moved to America to find work and support his family back home. He never fought again.
The importance of this project lies in its aim not to reproduce or glorify images of violence, but to evoke a viscerality that exists when coming of age in a container of hegemonic masculinity and its intergenerational effects as they were passed down from Chelsea’s grandfather to her father to herself. Through “Barako,” I examine an intimate legacy that allows me to reflect on my own relationship with masculinity, intergenerational trauma, and my father.
Photos above: ©Chelsea Pineda ©Acacia Diana
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