Sunday, May 16, 2021

Nigeria-born Marianne Olaleye makes Portrait of Britain shortlist


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Marianne Olaleye

A UK-based Nigerian, Marianne Olaleye, has been shortlisted among the top 100 photographers in the prestigious Portrait of Britain photography contest and will have her works featured in the first Portrait of Britain book, featuring 200 shortlisted images.

Launched in 2016 by the British Journal of Photography (BJP), the Portrait of Britain is an annual British portrait photography competition.

Its subject is the diversity of British people.

The top 100 winning portraits are displayed on JCDecaux’s digital screens across Britain throughout September.

For Marianne, who has done work for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, photography is first and foremost about storytelling, and expressions of human behaviour.

On her blog, she describes her kind of photography as simple and candid – a means of portraying people who demonstrate beauty not only in their physical appearance, but also in the relationship they have with their environment.

A recurring theme in her photography is the candid nature of feminine beauty although she is a master who has photographed men and everyday life on the streets.

She believes that each person has a story to tell and so she aims to give them the centre stage while showcasing the universality and beauty of women.

This is hoping that her images will play a role in improving media representations of beauty.

Marianne’s and 99 other photographers on the shortlist went on display on September 1 in the largest display of contemporary portrait photography ever held in the UK.

The images are shown on JCDecaux public digital screens across the country.

Whittled down from 13,000 submission entries to a list of 100, the photographs have been chosen by a judging panel, which included BJP’s editorial director, Simon Bainbridge, Magnum photographer, Olivia Arthur, The Guardian weekend picture editor, Caroline Hunter and photographer, Martin Usborne.

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