KNOWING YOU – Reflections On The First Three Weeks

by Cinzia D’Ambrosi

Reflecting back on the last three weeks since the start of the ‘Knowing You’ project, I cannot say how inspiring and meaningful this is proving to be. The project brings together women from White City with different backgrounds, ethnicities and religious beliefs on the common ground of sharing their personal story to one another and develop a photo story of each other.

The aim of the project is to break down barriers and prejudices by creating the basis for bonding and cohesion through getting to know someone of different religious or ethnic background. Our sessions to date in one of the meeting rooms of Our Lady of Fatima Church in White City have explored interview techniques, story structures and photography. Women have shared their earliest memories and meaningful and defining moments and are reflecting, working together from those. And in these questions, inevitably the project has opened up much deeper layers, something that perhaps I did not envisage to be so strong; women have shared painful, joyful, hopeful experiences.

Being together, women shared, has awaken a safe space, a discovery of oneself through another. Who are we? Who am I? – one of the participants asks. Unapologetic, Bold, Beautiful– another participant describes how she tries to convey her perceptions of a fellow participant. ‘Knowing You’ is awakening, connecting and probing reflection on common experiences of being a woman, of dealing with representation of another woman’s story which brings to light aspects of oneself and of ourselves. Despite, the difference of background it seems to connect everyone on this important core. ‘Knowing You’ project is supported by the charity

Near Neighbours.

Photojournalism Nights returns to White City!

The second edition of the Photojournalism Nights at Elephant West gallery was met with an engaged audience, inspirational and talented guest photographers presentations, keynotes by Emma Perfect, global head of diversity and inclusion at Soho House, media partner Photo Archive News, networking and conversations till late at night at the bar/lounge of eclectic Elephant West gallery and the opportunity to bring home one of the donated photographs from the photographers printed with the support of Genesis Imaging UK.

I could not ask for a better night to present and showcase powerful long form photojournalistic projects exposing, reflecting and questioning the current political climate through the notion of European identity and Belonging.  Presentations began with Claudia Leisinger with her project Europe Revisited documenting the lives of Roma families living in stark poverty in Serbia which questions the distribution of welfare and resources in Europe.  Followed by Pete Boyd, whose work looks at where and how young people think they belong: what it facilitates; how they define who is a member and who  not; how they signal their belonging; who they are allowed to be and  what they can express; what they consciously adopt and what others foist upon them; and what they have to do to survive it, then to Sukhy Hullait who for 100 days documented  in various cities in the UK, the opinions and feelings of people towards Brexit. Finally, we had the presentation of Quetzal Maucci, whose work looks at the lives of children of immigrants in the States and in the UK demonstrating the universality of those people caught in-between belonging. Four people won a photograph each from the raffle tickets and went home with on original print. This was made possible by the donation of the guest photographers and by Genesis Imaging which have supported this event.  There were a lot of questions at the Q&A and I am guessing much more later as people stayed behind till late conversing and getting to know each other.

The Photojournalism Nights are organised by the Photojournalism Hub to bring together photojournalists and share their work, discuss important social justice issues in order to engage in a meaningful way to important topics whilst support the photojournalists which often put their lives at risk in doing this.  The Photojournalism Nights are run bi-monthly at the Elephant West gallery and the next date will be announced shortly.  If you wish to follow our work click here.

Do We Know About Today’s Youth Crime and Violence?

17th September 2019

Sharing below some photographs from the talk event on youth and crime we held on the 17th September 2019 at the Invention Rooms in White City.

We presented a very diverse group of panellist who shared their experiences and insights on this very important issue: Raheel Butt, who is an ex gang member, Dr.Roger Grimshaw, Research Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, investigative journalist and photographer Robin Friend. 

The conversations showed different perspectives that included the raw experiences of Raheel Butt, the research of Dr. Grimshaw that points to emotional deprivation and poverty in early years’ link to aggregation to gangs, and Robin’s visual research looking at austerity measures, Brexit and lack of youth provisions as precursors of youth crime.

Once the presentations ended, we asked the public why they came to the event and that was the start of a very powerful sharing of the public’s own experiences, including their own children’ being caught in the fabric of crime, gang membership and radicalisation.

This was a very powerful talk event, matched by a strong feel of wanting to change things in the White City community, a strong fear for the future of children, and a need to connect with each other to look for solutions. The public asked to have their email shared with each other.

Raheel Butt
Robin Friend


Photojournalism Hub holds the first Photojournalism Nights Event on the 21st May at Elephant West Gallery, London White City!

The first event dedicated purely to photojournalism is the culmination of an ambition of Photojournalism Hub founder and director, Cinzia D’Ambrosi to re-ignite the passion for this form of journalism. The event was a real success with the large gallery full of people, who engaged to high quality photojournalism and Q&A. The public also had the opportunity to win an original print of the guest photojournalists through a raffle ticket, printed with the support of Genesis Imaging. The renowned and respected Photo Archive News supported the event by selecting and publishing the work of one of the guests photographers.

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Cinzia, founder/director of the Photojournalism Nights introduces the first guest photographer
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Photographer Rob Pinney presents his work
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Wamaitha wins an original print from guest photographer Tavis Bohlinger
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Tavis Bohlinger presents his work
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The public engages in a Q&A

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