In episode 26 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering the debate around the Taylor Wessing NPG Portrait Award winning images and the discussions surrounding the opening of the Photography Centre within the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Both of which present issues concerning transparency of process that Grant feels need to be addressed.
Plus this week photographer Stuart Franklin takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘What Does Photography Mean to You?’
Stuart Franklin was born in London in 1956. Having left school at 16, he went on to study photography at West Surrey College of Art and Design. His photographic career began when he started to work for The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph Magazine in London and later with Agence Presse Sygma in Paris, “At Sygma photographers arrived from Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon unloading their Domke bags and their stories. Later I felt confident enough to tell my own. I covered the 1983 Nigerian exodus, the Heysel Stadium disaster, the Beirut bombing of the French and American bases, the civil war there and in Sri Lanka, the conflict in Northern Ireland and finally the 1984–85 famine in Sudan.”
In Khartoum, Stuart shared a flat with Sebastião Salgado for a few weeks. Salgado worked with Magnum Photos in Paris – founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, Robert Capa and George Rodger. Stuart was invited to join in the summer of 1985 and has been a full member since 1989, serving most recently as the agency’s elected president between 2006-2009.
It was during 1989 that Stuart took his acclaimed photographs in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where a demonstration for freedom ended in a massacre. After that, he began to move away from news into magazine feature photography.
Between 1990 and 2004 he photographed about twenty stories for National Geographic Magazine. During this time, Stuart decided to pursue a better theoretical understanding of some of the issues he confronted, by embarking on a period of academic study in 1997. He graduated with a first class degree in Geography from Oxford University and went on to complete his doctoral thesis there in 2002.
During 2009, Stuart traveled to Mali and the Middle East and co-curated the Noorderlicht Photo Festival 2009 with an exhibition entitled Point of No Return on the continuing conflict in Gaza. In a change of approach to documentary, Stuart undertook a course of training at the UK’s National Film and Television School in observational documentary. Subsequently, Stuart worked on his first long-form documentary Runners, together with film work for ESPN.
During 2010, Stuart continued with his project Farmscapes supported and funded by the Scottish National Galleries. The work was first exhibited at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2012. During 2010-13 Stuart completed a long-term landscape project Narcissus, exhibited during in 2012/13 in Ålesund-Norway, Kristiansund – Norway, London, Paris, and Edinburgh. www.stuartfranklin.com
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Grant Scott is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer in Professional Photography at the University of Gloucestershire, a working photographer, and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Focal Press 2014) and The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Focal Press 2015). His next book #New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in January 2019.
His documentary film, Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay will be screened across the UK and the US in 2018.
© Grant Scott 2018