New London Architecture

'A sustainable future for London’ through the eyes of young people

Friday 20 March 2020

Ilaria Vignolo

Ilaria Vignolo

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Pupils from Bangabandhu Primary School and Wimbledon High School are the winners of NLA’s ‘A Sustainable Future for London’ Photography Competition, run in partnership with the City of London Corporation, Cheapside Business Alliance and supported by the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators, with fantastic prizes generously donated by Thames Clippers.
 
To celebrate World Water Day, students were asked as a class to discuss and produce a piece of photographic artwork that responds to the theme of sustainability and addresses the everyday challenges that young Londoners face. The artwork offers a documentation of how young people in primary and secondary school are experiencing the effects of climate change in their city. 

Photos of overflowing bins, rubbish submerged in canals and chewing gum dotted pavements highlight some of the issues, while photos capturing moments of teamwork, recycling initiatives and eco clubs celebrate some of the solutions young people and schools are taking into their own hands. 
 
As shown by the school climate strikes, during the autumn of 2019, young people are central to this narrative and are both hungry for and committed to change. Encouraging young people to think about their immediate environment and the planet as a whole will inspire our future generations to create the solutions that will lead the way to achieving net zero.
 
NLA received 42 entries from schools across London, which were judged by a selected panel who considered the image’s capacity to communicate an idea, the technical photographic skill, and how well the images respond to the brief. 
 
See the four submissions that were rated the highest by our judges and the overall winners from the primary and secondary categories. 
 

Winner of the Primary Schools category

Bangabandhu Primary School, Tower Hamlets
Rights Respecting Journalism Club
Mixed Year Group
Winner of the Primary Schools category
Students’ comment:
 
There are over 3,000 primary schools which equal lots of children and members of staff. For this reason, we decided that a sustainable future for London needs to start from the youngest residents of London.
 
As a school, we feel that we are trying to become a sustainable and
environmentally friendly school. For example, we currently have:
• Eco Activists who ensure that recycling is collected daily for all classes
and offices
• Lunchtime Leaders to encourage children to eat more and therefore
reduce food waste. They also hold Fairtrade tuckshops to highlight the
need for sustainable development and the power of the individual farmer
• ICT Suite Monitors to ensure that all equipment is turned off daily
• School Gardeners that maintain and plant new plants in our garden areas
around the school
• Learning Detectives who ensure that we are using reusable fabric for our
displays around the school
 
However, as we were walking around our school, we felt that although we were doing well currently, we still had lots of areas to expand upon to achieve a fully sustainable school. We want to highlight the need to move towards being an environmentally friendly school. 
 
If all 3000 schools in the capital try to reduce their electric, plastic, paper and food waste then this would make a BIG difference and hopefully eventually filter upwards to encourage adults to follow in our footsteps.

Primary School Winners
Judges’ comment:
 
“Inventive and colourful submission. This image truly reflects the success of
this collaboration, students working photographers and designers. I liked
the student at the bottom of the image who appears overwhelmed by the
responsibilities that we all have as citizens of the world.” Grant Smith, photographer

Winner of the Secondary Schools category

Wimbledon High School, Merton
Year 10, Class 10A
Winner of the Secondary Schools category
Students' comment:

"This image was taken by one student and chosen by the class to submit. This collage comments on the impact pollution and consumerism can have on the people of London, especially children, who are the future of our city. I arranged bin bags and rubbish like objects around my friend. I then experimented with Photoshop with black and white and other filters. I tired cutting out different parts of the photos and combining them. In the end I really liked the black and white with the colour eye strip. It could symbolise younger generations watching as global warming and climate change becomes even more dangerous. It is frustrating how we have little say over what will affect us so much in our future.
 
What inspired me was looking around London and observing the sad scenes of rubbish scattered on almost every corner. One day, I was walking to school and I was heavily struck by the mountains of trash which foxes had infested. It made me really sad and disappointed."

Secondary School winners
Judges’ Comments:
 
“I really like the concept behind the image, and I think the use of the strip
of colour is striking and has a strong impact on the overall message being
portrayed. I like the way real thought has gone into the composition of the
image and the message the photographer wanted to get through." Hannah Penn, Business Administration Apprentice, City of London Corporation
 
"This image has been well thought through, planned and executed. Using
the band of colour highlighting the subject’s eyes draws our focus to the
gaze of the subject, seemingly suffocating under the pile of waste. Excellent
concept, congratulations to all the team involved in producing this image." Grant Smith, Photographer

Highly Commended Primary School category

Dwight School London
Year 6, Class M4
Highly Commended Primary School category
Students' comment:

"The reason I took this picture is because I like how when it rains all the gum looks like it is popping out when I took the picture I thought it was interesting how people throw away their gum and think that it will just go away but once it rains all the things people throw away pop out and are very easily seen. 

When introduced to this competition we looked at the photographer Chritain Marclay who photographs who focuses on the kerbside detritus of the streets in his current hometown, London."

Judges' comment:

"A well composed image, with a strong diagonal through the frame, balanced by the reflected blue light and the dots of gum on the opposite side. This image shows the photographer to be a keen observer of the everyday, an image like this reminds us of the rich visual world we inhabit." Grant Smith

Highly Commended Secondary School category

City of London School for Girls
Year 8, Class 8S
Highly Commended Secondary School category
Students' comment:

"A Cry for Help
Theme: the impact of waste & plastics on the environment from people to fish. Each pupil thought of their own slogan which was printed in the darkroom & they brought in packaging such as netting from fruit, old bottles which were used in the darkroom with real fish. The class discussed how to present the collaborative photograph which looks to a sustainable future for London and addresses the environmental challenges that Londoners face."

Judges' comment:

"I like the creative approach to this collage and the messaging behind it. I thought it was clever that the girls came up with their own wording and incorporated it into the images of the fish. In addition, the use of a dark room is a strong photographic skill and I think this is really effective in the way they have executed the piece." Hannah Penn

Winning entries will be exhibited at The City Centre, keep your eyes peeled for more details of the exhibition to follow.


Ilaria Vignolo

Ilaria Vignolo

Marketing and Communications Coordinator



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