What JR shot

Back to photography for a moment.

A few years ago, I ran a photography project in a primary school where I took pictures of every single child in school. Using black and white film and focussing each image on just part of their face, we posted all 200 of them as a ‘wall of faces’ covering the entire back wall of the school hall. The kids (and happily the teachers) loved the process and the impact of the final result.

My inspiration for the project was JR, a Parisian photographer and street artist who has been changing landscapes and attitudes for some years now. His work on the Face 2 Face project pastes wonderful images of Palestinian and Israeli citizens side by side in prominent locations on both sides of the wall.



JR’s project ‘Women are Heroes,’ uses the same large-scale format to paste images of Women from Africa, Asia and South America in their own neighbourhoods.



This image above shows JR’s shots as rooftops in Kibera, Kenya, deliberately printed onto vinyl to help waterproof the subject’s homes.

The entire process for the Women are Heroes project was filmed for a documentary of the same name and was selected for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. You can watch the trailer here and get a sense of the social narrative behind his work.

Deliberately anonymous, JR never provides an explanation of his work. That’s up to us. You can see more on his website and read an Observer interview with him here.