Only Human Exhibition by Aneesa Dawoojee

Only Human – a photographic exploration of community

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Aneesa Dawoojee’s black-and-white portraits of martial arts fighters in south London made a big impression on photo professionals and the public alike last year. Indeed, earned her fellowship of the prestigious Royal Photographic Society (RPS). As Aneesa told us at the time, “I was very much wishing to create something that was about the people in South London who come together through this sport [Muay Thai].”

Her latest exhibition is at the RPS’s centre in Bristol’s arts quarter. Opening on 16 September, the show will include both ‘The Fighting Spirit of South London’ and her latest series, ‘March of the Hummingbirds’.

Aneesa describes her Hummingbirds series as telling “the story of the Caribbean community in the UK with a view to sharing a little of its rich history. It is a colourful and often joyous story of a multicultural community who are keen to share their stories of adventure, love and hopes for the children in Britain.”

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She told Soca News: “I’ve tried to include as much of the Notting Hill community in the ‘March of the Hummingbirds’ series. It’s work in progress but quite Trinidad-focused since that’s what I know best.”

Aneesa Dawoojee was born in Streatham, South London, of Trinidadian parentage. She was inspired, at least in part, by an artist/photographer uncle, whose “black and white reportage was unique for its time, but classic and timeless today”.

  • ‘Only Human’ is at RPS House, 337-340 Paintworks, Arnos Vale, Bristol BS4 3AR. Admission: free. Open: 10am-5pm Thur-Sun 16 Sep-19 Nov 2023. 25 minutes’ walk from Bristol Temple Meads station or buses 1,57, 349 and X39 to The Paintworks stop on the Bath Road.
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