photographic index

ba digital photography london south bank university

Daniel Neves

Title: …
Artist: Daniel Neves
Type: Inkjet photographic print
Date: 2007
Description: …, London. Completed May 2007. Made in response to Anita Corbin’s photographic series ‘Visible Girls’, Girls Subcultures box held at the London South Bank University, London. A series of 3 images.
Subject: …, subcultures
Measurements: …x…
Location: London South Bank University Digital Photography Dept
ID Number: PI-RGSB-DN0001-DN00…
Licensing: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales, Daniel Neves c/o London South Bank University, Digital Photography Course, UK

We have been looking at the archive of Anita Corbin’s Visible girls this semester and we have been asked to reinterpret her archive of visible girls with modern youth culture;

“The concept of ‘subculture’ survives as a centrally defining discursive trope in much sociological work on the relationship between youth, music and style.” (Andy Bennett, Subcultures or neo-tribes? Rethinking the relationship between youth, style and musical taste, 1999, P603)

The sub culture I chose was “binge drinkers”, in today’s life teenagers are starting from a young age drinking what ever they get their hands on (wine, cider, beer) and because they cant drink in pubs or bars because of British laws, they drink in public places, bus stops, parks and playgrounds these are the most common places that we find this sub culture drinking until unconscious, or in other words drinking unconsciously.

A recent study at Liverpool’s John Moores University, has come to the conclusion that teenagers who get more than £10 a week pocket money and who buy alcohol for themselves have a higher chance of developing a drink problem; 10,000 questionnaires were given to drinking teenagers of the ages 15 and 16, their study found that 1 in 3 teenagers bought their own alcohol, which means that they are twice as likely to binge drink than those that get alcohol bought for them. (Metro 1157)

I found this statement in the metro newspaper, and I agree with it as I have experience with friends that binge drink, and those that do binge purchase their own drinks but its usually tasteless drinks or the cheapest drinks, meaning that they don’t care about quality they just want to get drunk as cheap as possible, usually drinking beer, cider, or most popular is vodka, and they do this as a hobby, while friends that get drinks for their birthdays or that don’t like the feeling of being drunk they keep the alcohol for days that they can sit back and enjoy.

Binge drinkers don’t seem to think that they can have fun without getting drunk. Many get violent others change personalities completely and this is quite frightening as someone you think you know is different with alcohol, and so I wanted to base my project on this as this is a problem in society, and I wanted to show people the scenes that we usually see when they are drunk.

One thing I wanted to do was to over exaggerate my sub culture to really get the idea of how people get when binge drinking. I had to stage the event, so I got loads of beer bottles and wine bottles around them, and told them how to lay stand or act, it was interesting and even my models found it difficult to act drunk.

These teenagers drink because they like the feeling of being drunk, and they like seeing their friends completely drunk too. Most compete to get drunk the fastest and other compete on doing drinking contests and try not to get drunk, in other words they try to knock each other out. If I were to photograph people while drinking I wouldn’t get the images in the way that I wanted, and it would be a risk as I would have to look after them in case they got into any danger and second of all if they would actually attack me while being drunk, as some do get violent. And so I chose to get some models to act out scenes that binge drinkers would do and end up looking like, this was much easier as I managed to control what image I wanted and how I wanted it.

“Translates the fact of being under scrutiny into the pleasure of being watched. It is a hiding in the light.” (Dick Hebdige, Hiding in the light P17, London: Rutledge, 1988)
This quote goes well with my sub culture as, many of these teenagers drink to gain attention and they like the feeling of being drunk, but they also like the feeling of being watched as they do things that they would not usually do while sober. Also while drunk they do not think straight, forgetting problems or any thing else that they do not wish to think about and so they “hide the light” by drinking until they forget completely, even to the point that they don’t know whom their friends are or where they are.

I decided to present my photographs in the size format of A2, because of the colours in the images I wanted to really emphasise them, by making them look really rich and I think that work looks good really big. Also I wanted to make these photos look glamorous in a way, in order to contradict the true feelings of being drunk, almost to say that it looks good to be drunk, but we all know that that is not true.

Anita Corbin went through many sub cultures, attempting to show all of them. Her subjects were all dressed as if they were about to go on a night out so they were all dressed up or getting ready for a night out. My project differs as first I only concentrated on one sub culture and secondly my sub culture was already out, all the way to already completely drunk.

I enjoyed doing this project as I got to see that it is actually quite hard to act drunk, and great fun was had in order to get the correct images, I’m happy with the results, I managed to get strong rich colours and photos that show a sub culture in youths today.


Metro newspaper (11/05/07)

One Response

  1. Michael Taylor says:

    I liked these photos a lot. I think that binge drinkers is a great choice for a subculture, as it seems to be so popular with younger people as well as with the media. The scenes are very realistic and the composition gives a good sense of the subjects drunkenness. The colours in the images are fantastic, especially the greens. On top of this I found your writing to be a great, informative read. Great work.

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