Initially sparked by Brexit, The Portrait of Britain award has flourished since 2016, showcasing and celebrating the diverse faces of the United Kingdom. This year, for its third edition, the 200 shortlisted images are being placed into a book that’s set to be published by East London-based Hoxton Mini Press. The cover features a portrait of Richard, photographed by Gavin Li. Using bright, impactful colours the image accentuates the subject’s individuality as a significant member of London’s vibrant LGBT community.
The competition is all about inclusivity; it spans all walks and ways of life, celebrating our differences and similarities. Yesterday, the 2018 shortlist was announced. After a vast amount of entries, the panel arrived at a selection that reflected the core values of the competition. “These images, in all their diversity, reflect something of the richness of this nation”, comments Martin Usborne, judge and co-founder of Hoxton Mini Press. “Each portrait is a story in itself”, reiterates Simon Bainbridge, editor in chief of British Journal of Photography. “Collectively they present an alternative to the current political rhetoric, a human face that gives some nuance to the picture of who we are”.
In times where the the will of the country seems to bend further toward the right, where interests seem to divide the British people, the judges made sure to select photographs that rebel against this notion. They highlight how we are, in fact, a country of great cultural diversity and that this is one of our greatest assets. Two images that are included feature asylum seekers from Northern Iraq, photographed by Stephen Lliffe. The subject matter is one of play, showcasing how this year’s competition also looks to speak optimistically about serious issues.
The book is available to pre-order now.
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