Now showing at Nederlands Fotomuseum is the ongoing series Classroom Portraits, 2004-2012 from social recorder Julian Germain. In each oddly familiar environment, your perspective is that of the teacher but at “child height”; you have the class’ full (largely uninterested, expressionless) attention and it is a strange, almost disconcerting thing to be looked at in such a way.
From London to Qatar by way of the Yemen and St Louis, the pupils are captured in their own learning space as opposed to sat in staggered rows, top buttons done-up, hands on knees and unnatural. The large-format nature of the image, an all-details-at-once effect, stops the image feeling candid and magnetically moves your attention from face to strip-light-lit face in a still moment mid-class.
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