For photographer Slater King, identity and perspective is something that imagemakers should be keeping top of mind throughout their practice “My opinion is that all creative work is constructed, even reportage photography is picked, framed and edited. When you look at the image of another person, whether that’s a picture, a painting, or whatever it happens to be, you create a biography of that person. It’s one of the things that we humans do,” he tells CR.
We recommend activating Javascript in your browser.
The history of photography in particular goes hand in hand with the white perspective, dating back to colonial times when it was relied on as a way to perpetuate biases and solidify the importance of the colonial gaze. You only have to look at old issues of the National Geographic – a magazine that has only recently acknowledged its racist past – or the fact that Steve McCurry’s controversial 1984 portrait Afghan Girl is still one of the world’s most recognisable photographs, to witness the troubling results of the white gaze.

While the tide could be seen to be turning – in recent months CR has spoken to organisations and individuals who are decolonising the creative industries and addressing the lack of diversity in design book publishing, among other things – the fact remains that much of western culture has been built on familiar clichés and damaging stereotypes.