Portrait of a Shop Keeper, Mijatovac

Day 13 of cycling from Suffolk to Rwanda… on a another epic day in the saddle (total of 102 miles) I had cycled roughly 80 miles when I came across this wonderful little store on the outskirts of a village near Mijatovac in Serbia – it was a wooden shack by the road and was a real godsend as energy levels were dipping!

Chomping down on bread, biscuits and coca cola, I replenished my energy levels sitting on a stool inside the shop, attempting to communicate with this lovely lady. We didn’t really understand each other, but it’s amazing what a smile does.Thankfully she posed for a photo (I just loved the aesthetics of the small wooden building), becoming part of my story of the life changing journey I was on.

Interestingly, as I was packing the bag and leaving, a chap in a new Mercedes pulled up and chatted in depth with her, asking me who I was & what I was doing in this part of Serbia.

He was nice enough – but I later found out he would have been part of the local mafia.

#travel#photography#portraiture#serbia#people#story#cycletorwanda

Egyptian Taxi Driver

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be uploading a selection of portraiture that I shot in 2012 when I cycled through East Africa.

These portraits represent some of the remarkable people I met throughout the 5500 mile cycle adventure.I met this Taxi Driver on a side street in Aswan, Egypt, while held up in a hostel waiting for the ferry to Sudan.

He was an incredibly charming guy, we sat, drank karkade and smoked shisha, talked about the elections and the uprising.

His fears for the country after Mohamed Morsi (pictured on election posters) took power and what he wanted for the future.He was deeply concerned about the country and his fears proved to sadly be correct.

#Aswan#Egypt#africa #Uprising #CycletoRwanda#Portraiture#Portraits#Streetportraits#Travel#uprising#photographer#photography#adventure

Inspirational Story for #Suffolkday

As #Suffolkday is around the corner, I wanted to share an inspirational portrait and an incredible story from someone I met in 2019 and photographed as part of the Water, Mills and Marshes: the Broads Landscape Partnership funded portraiture project.


Ivan Humble
Ex English Defence League Regional Organiser

“I’ve been a Lowestoft lad all my life. I had the usual upbringing, to be fair it was pretty good compared to most on my estate.

I suffered with Mental health issues and had a craving to be normal. I started smoking cannabis, which helped in a way, but then I was spending a lot of time indoors, reading stuff, browsing the internet and stuff like that. I guess it all really changed in 2009.
Our troops had a homecoming parade in Luton and I remember seeing the abuse the troops were getting from some of the Luton residents. It was a real concern for me and I felt disgruntled.

I put a paragraph on Facebook, ranting about what had happened. Within minutes, someone got in contact and it felt like someone was interested in me and we talked for hours. He mentioned about a street protest and to be honest, you got to remember my life was shit at the time. It was a tough time. Suddenly I felt part of something. Within four months we went to a protest and it kicked off, people started to notice me and I was becoming something. I was becoming something in the EDL, it was like a football awayday. I felt like a man again.
I guess things began to change a little after a demo in Peterborough. We caused a lot of problems.
A couple of weeks later, the mosque we harassed invited us (regional EDL) back for a cup of tea and cake. I couldn’t get my head around it. But that stuck with me for a year or so.
Life changed when I was in Norwich a year later. Two Muslim women passed me; they were at a religious meeting in the forum, so I followed them. I was angry, knocking on the windows. A man came out, an awkward silence followed, I had adopted a stance, ready in case something happened. I then said I’m EDL.. he moved towards me and hugged me, saying he had wanted to meet with the EDL for some time.
Over time we started talking weekly, monthly and gradually life began to change. It took a long time and was a slow process, but was really productive. I started talking to a former Jihadist in Ipswich and we understood each other. I learnt a lot from him and a bond was formed.
I now work with intervention charities and put something back into the community. Labels are dangerous, I’ve learnt that”

#suffolk #lowestoft #mentalhealth #lifechanging #access #portraiture

Gennady

Gennady kindly posed for a portrait in 2019 as part of the ongoing #portraiture project.
Like many of the subjects, his story is both fascinating and incredibly moving.
A shortened version is below.

Gennady arrived in the UK around 19 years ago, due to the political situation in Eastern Europe.
First moving to the Midlands. Eventually he found himself in Lowestoft, after praying that he would be able to continue his fishing career.
“I came to the town, walked the streets and had nothing, no money and had lost hope. Eventually I stumbled across the Bethal Church. That’s when things changed, I found work on the docks and have been here ever since”
I haven’t seen my family for 11 years, I am waiting for a passport, it’s not easy, but with the support of friends, family and the church and it is bearable”

#watermillsandmasrhes #portraiture #portrait #lowestoft #fishing #suffolk #fisherman

The Chairman

Portrait.
The Social photographic project, kindly supported by the Water, Mills & Marshes project is about capturing emotive photographs of people living in Norfolk & North Suffolk is continuing throughout the next two/three years.

Over the coming weeks and months I will be showcasing some of the work to date, which was featured in the 2019 exhibition at Skippings Gallery in Great Yarmouth.

This Portrait is of Norman – The Chairman

I first started cycling when I worked in Norwich. I would usually get a lift, but at some point that fell through, so I started riding my bike to work – It was 1976, a really hot summer, I rode twice a week to work on an Austro-Daimler Puch
For some reason I stopped riding, I think I found out what beer was for! Around 4 years later I picked it up again, joining Great Yarmouth Cycling Club in 1987. A friend suggested I joined and I became part of the fabric GYCC. I joined to go racing, starting with 10mile Time Trials and it just continued, I guess you could say I became hooked. I started to ramp it up, doing serious winter training.
I was no superstar, at district level I was ok and could certainly hold my own. In the early 1990’s I took a lot of club records, a couple of which are still held to this day – not bad going considering the conditions and lack of aero technology.
I became Chairman of the club around 1991, I was young enough and old enough to take it on and I’ve been chairman ever since. The club has done well. At the moment we have over 150 members, which is terrific for our club and the community.

https://theportraits.co.uk/

#Portrait #Watermillsmarshes #GreatYarmouth #Photography #Cycling

Behind the Scenes in Norwich

It’s always a pleasure to ‘get behind the scenes’ with access to the amazing work that is undertaken in the fine city of Norwich by the folks in the cancer labs for Norfolk Charity BigC. I spent a couple of mornings photographing professors, the laboratories and some of the interns who are choosing this highly complex level of research as their specialty.  An insight into the excellent work that is undertaken on our doorstep.

Miracle | Uganda

This is 12 year old Miracle.
She lives with her grandmother in Southwest Uganda. Sadly her parents both died of HIV and since then her grandmother has looked after her and sells at the local market earning “just enough” to pay the rent on her hillside home above the border town.

Although HIV Positive, the health of Miracle is really rather good. Thanks to a funding program from USAID and the tireless work of a Ugandan NGO, she receives regular medication to manage her health.

She told me she wants to be a doctor.

#usaid #uganda #ngo #africa #eastafrica #hiv #child #children#giveachildacamera #health #portrait

Fabis | South Western Uganda

Fabis.

I met this interesting lady last year while visiting some old friends in Western Uganda. I was truly captivated by the muted colours and wilderness of scene that unfolded in front of me.

30 year old Fabis has two children and works around 8 hours a day in the fields and banana groves earning 2500 ugx (50p) per day, in the village of Kachwekano. She suffers with bad eyesight.

Justus | Uganda

Justus,
I met Justus last year in Western Uganda and was captivated by his community spirit and commitment to helping other people with HIV.
 
He kindly agreed to become part of my documentary series.
 
Justus is a peer educator Working with the MARPS health centre since 2007, he was diagnosed with HIV in 2004 with his wife, when they were tested together. “I was a primary teacher, but now I am a labourer” Justus is a Practising Catholic and now uses his knowledge to educate others about HIV & the dangers of contracting the disease. He walks around 15km to the health centre twice a week for medication.