Owing to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to change the line-up for our next talk. We’ll now be hearing from photojournalists David Hoffman and Kristian Buus, and we hope to reschedule the event with Guy Martin for a future edition of PhotoForum.
David Hoffman has worked as an independent photojournalist since the 1970s. Supplying media through his photo library, he has always chosen his own subject matter. Driven to document the increasingly overt control of the state over our lives, his work sheds an unforgiving light across racial and social conflict, policing, drug use, poverty and social exclusion.
Protest, and the violence that sometimes accompanies it, is a thread that has run through Hoffman's work, gaining him a reputation as ‘the riot photographer’s riot photographer.’ The same determination and willingness to look uncomfortable realities in the eye are evident in his photographs of homeless people using open and unregulated shelters offering support and respite.
Often raw and uncomfortable, Hoffman’s work is both dispassionate documentary and steely social challenge. By engaging with the image, we are forced to recognise the world as others live it and to consider our own position. Working to document the reality of injustice, the frequent oppression of the state and the all too often tragic consequences, Hoffman’s photography has underpinned legal challenges, brought racist perpetrators to justice, and most importantly, reached wide audiences through newspaper publication for more than 40 years.
Kristian Buus is a London based freelance photographer. He works for various NGOs and campaign groups including Greenpeace, and various editorial outlets in the UK and Denmark. Much of his work documents environmental activism and civil disobedience in the UK. From covering direct actions on the 'front line' he has moved on to shoot portraits of activists, asking them why they put themselves at risk of arrest and possible physical harm.
“I remember lying in the police cell bed, agonising … did we manage to stop the flight? Had my friends maintained their blockade, or had the people due to be onboard, whose plight we’d read about days before, been violently restrained and forced on?....the ecological crises of our time ask of us as profound a question as is possible: what it means to be human.”
— Words by Eddy Thacker, arrested at Stansted Airport in 2017 along with 14 fellow activist, stopping a chartered deportation flight