© Bernice Mulenga

#2 Dance – Bernice Mulenga 

Bernice Mulenga shares her series '#friendsonfilm' for our Instagram Takeover as part of our issue #2 Dance.

Bernice Mulenga is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, and writer prioritizing analog processes, based in London.

Their work centers their community and the experiences of Black people in the UK, this is amplified in Mulenga’s ongoing photo series ‘#friendsonfilm’. With the use of afro-documentary ‘#friendsonfilm’, is an exploration of the ways in which black bodies throughout the diaspora, navigate various spaces. Their work also explores the reoccurring themes surrounding their identity, sexuality, race and Congolese culture.

 

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Hello everyone ! This is Bernice Mulenga aka @burneece aka your Scorpio non binary shooter aka mx #friendsonfilm . I’m taking over photoworks instagram this week and I will be talking about my series #friendsonfilm and going through it’s archives and possibly sharing some new work too! A lot of my work is an Afro documentry. You can find a lot of my friends within my work but also strangers who I meet and connect with in this thing we call life. This image is from a collab I did with @bornnbread where we reflected on secondary school times and what it meant for us as black British individuals. We spent the day in their area – south London 💥 and even went to their secondary school. Through my photography I find myself sharing parts of myself and my subjects also opening up. I think it’s really important to have bonds with your subjects when shooting. Whether it’s before, during or after. You can not deny the energy of a photo! #photoworks_uk #bernicemulenga #instagramtakeover #photography #friendsonfilm #bornnbread #burneece

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Throw back to one of my fave fave Pxssy Palace moments! I still get super excited whenever I see this image. • My nightclub photography, specifically queer nightlife photography is about 70% of what my #friendsonfilm is built up of. I like to take the angle of ‘candid behind the scenes’ style with it, taking the role of actually being a part of the party and having a good time whilst doing it. There is something about capturing people in their most natural element. It doesn’t feel forced for me or them. • I think it’s important to share images you take of people to them, with clubbing it can be hard to remember faces but London being the bubble it is, it’s not usually that hard for me. Connections with whoever you are shooting is really important to me, you can always read energy through a photo. It took me a while to put into words what #friendsonfilm was to me but through people expressing what they felt when they see, really helps me keep the vibe when I am documenting • Image: Golden Slip, 2017 Pxssy Palace (@burneece) #photoworks_uk #bernicemulenga #instagramtakeover #photography #friendsonfilm #burneece #pxssypalace

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I mostly shoot on #35mm film but do love shooting on #120mm. This image was from a big shoot I did and was able to hire out a medium format camera and cheekily use the shoot as a test to see if this was the one I wanted to buy for myself. • I get messages asking me what camera I use and if I’m being honest I don’t have only one I specifically shoot on. When I first started it was cheap point and shoots, I then got my hands on a few SLRS and then borrowed medium formats from friends. I keep cameras on roatation a lot. I buy films cameras that I do not need and play around with them all the time! Looking back a lot of my earlier work for #friendsonfilm were a lot of “errors” that I simply loved. I know people love to say there are rules to photography but as someone who didn’t study this and just dove right in, I say forget the rules. Find what works for you, what you like and do it how you want. • I will share more work this evening and be sharing from early in the morning tomorrow 🙂 Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section ✨ Image title: Kai, 2018 #friendsonfilm (@burneece ) #photoworks_uk #bernicemulenga #instagramtakeover #photography #friendsonfilm #burneece

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For more of Bernice’s work, visit her website here.

For more on our issue #2 Dance, click here.