#13 The Graduate IssueAfter another challenging academic year where many photography students were taught remotely and faced limited access to campus and facilities, we celebrate the work of ten graduates from around the world. Jodie Bateman, Lina Geoushy, Matt Hind, Lena Holzer, Wing Ka Ho, Esther Gabrielle Kersley, Marianne McGurk, Ryan Prince, Agnieszka Sejud, Felix Schöppner. The selected projects reflect a range of ideas and experiences, from personal projects born out of lived experience to work tackling current social and political issues. Special thanks to the selection panel including; Natasha Caruana, artist, lecturer and mentor, Daniele de Luigi, Curator Giovane Fotografia Italiana, writer and critic, Ian Howarth, Photographer and Content Creator MPB, Tshepiso Mabula, Photoworks writer-in-residence and photographer, Maryam Wahid, artist and lecturer, and Julia Bunnemann, Photoworks Curator. A huge thank you to our sponsors MPB and print partner Spectrum Photographic for selecting four lucky graduates to support with kit loan and a printing voucher.
The Fifth Generation
Esther Gabrielle Kersley’s The Fifth Generation looks into modern-day conspiracy theories linking 5G technology with the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in the vandalism of at least 100 phone masts in 2020. Conspiracy theories, which thrive in times of uncertainty and have been linked to extremism, have now entered the mainstream. As Kersley explains, ‘their prevalence is a symbol of our so-called “post-truth society”, characterised by a lack of agreement over the nature of truth’.
Mirroring the rehash culture of conspiracy theories and the internet more broadly, for The Fifth Generation Kersley employed montage and appropriation, combining found footage from the web, social media text exchanges and official reports with her own photography to interweave various perspectives – both true and untrue. Via this abstract and poetic approach, she sheds light on the shifting boundaries between fact and fiction in an increasingly image- and information-saturated world.
Esther Gabrielle Kersley (born 1987) is a research-led documentary photographer with a background in conflict studies and politics. She graduated from the MA Photojournalism & Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication in 2021.