Exploring Photography: Women in Focus

Exploring Photography: Women in Focus

Thursday 24 March – Monday 2 May – Cafe Gallery

Local photographer Sylvie Belbouab invited her students to look at different photography techniques that helped capture everyday life and document various situations with a particular focus on reflecting on identity. They looked at female photographers each week and learned from their experience and work. Throughout the sessions, the group developed a body of work that is now displayed at Poplar Union as part of our International Women’s Day festival, Women in Focus.

Alongside this women-only course, a men-only course run by local photographer Pierre Bureau conveyed a male response to the project.

At the end of the course, a workshop brought together the two groups to discuss each other’s work. The participants discussed the outcome of the course, selected the images, and created the narrative for the exhibition.

Watch the two groups discussing the outcome of the workshop, and selecting the images for the exhibition.

Sylvie Belbouab

Sylvie is a social-documentary photographer and a community artist based in East London. She works with charities and community groups such as London Black women’s project, Million Women Rise, the refugee and migrants project at The Renewal Programme and others. She is also working with Newham Heritage Month to deliver photography heritage walks with young people.

She is passionate about using photography as a way to start conversations and raise awareness on social issues and improve well-being. She is currently working on two long-term documentaries about her local community and the identity of Muslim women in Britain.

You can find her work on Instagram at gbs10_portrait

Pierre Bureau

Pierre is a French-Ethiopian photographer living and working in East London. He founded Mindful Photo Lab in 2020 to improve mental health with photography. Passionate about street photography he uses the medium to connect with people and create personal visual stories.

“I’m a photographer and workshop facilitator living in East London. My photographs have been published in The Guardian, the BBC, Geographical, and in 2020 I’ve been shortlisted for The Wellcome Photography Prize. As a photographer who is passionate about human resilience and compassion, I’m helping find solutions through doing photography workshops using photography to explore the poetics of daily life in a playful way and challenges our fears and anxieties.”