Jonathan May | Awake
Jonathan May's "Awake" probes the often rugged, unforgiving landscape of Africa turning his camera to capturing its warmth, seeking out the light that occupies its shadows, and always with respect and admiration for its cultures. It is refreshing to see a story of Africa that feels more celebratory than exploitative. We become students, soaking in the beauty, gazing into these people's lives, learning and engaging on a human level.
Jonathan sought to shed what he believes is the West’s misshapen image of Africa: a combination of the doom and gloom portrayed by the media and the multitudinous imagery provided by photojournalism centred upon its injustice, poverty, war and political horrors, the aggregation and repetition of which informs a limited view of a continent steeped from cost to far flung coast in misery and human suffering. While not denying the prevalence of the darker side of Africa’s persona or the edifying role photography can play in bringing our attention to its human tragedies Jonathan’s experience there informs a broader view: one dotted with a vast and beautiful culture and history, which is seldom celebrated.