New Londoners was an ambitious project pairing 15 young refugees with 15 photographers to create photo stories reflecting the young people’s experiences of living in London.
As one of the photographers, I had the honour of working with Loria, a smart and highly motivated teenager from DRC. Her story, entitled I Am Not Alone, includes a series of portraits of people who supported her as she settled into her new life in London, and the entrances to places of personal significance for her.
The work of all the participants was published as a collection in a book called New Londoners: Reflection on Home.
Loria and I met weekly over 8 months, developing project ideas, technical skills and her confidence with photographing people. Before settling on the final piece, some of her ideas included; representing her life in a foster home, a series of portraits of fellow teenagers who attended the drop in evenings at The Refugee Council, and portraits of close friends.
In addition to going around London and shooting photos together, we spent time visiting art exhibitions and sitting in cafes laughing and talking about life in general.