Nico Froehlich celebrates the places and faces of his hometown in south London

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Nico Froehlich celebrates the places and faces of his hometown in south London


In Nico’s offering for the show, he presented a selection of photos from South of the River, with “full credit” going to Destinie for the curation. “She chose the images from my project and curated them in a way that effectively focuses on Black joy, as opposed to worn out tropes that depict the Black experience in a way that is one dimensional and inauthentic.” The series is built on authenticity and follows an intuitive, mindful and respectful process. First, the photographer walks around for “significant amounts of time” snapping sun-lit shots of the offies and takeaways. There’s no staging, interventions or inflictions on the compositions; his works are naturally candid. Next, Nico will approach his subjects and spends a good amount with them before shooting: “I also invest time in building genuine relationships before any photos are taken, and meet various people on multiple occasions to get to know their connection with south east London on a deeper level.”

South of the River is a compelling and almost diaristic mirror of those who live here. And not only does it show us beautiful a portrait of the city, it also comments on society, diversity and colour. These themes have long centred themselves in Nico’s work, as he often gets inspired by “social realism”, especially that of British cinema and “obscure” dramas from Andrea Arnold, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh. “These movies played a big role during my formative years in developing a strong sense of empathy for disadvantaged people who are sadly often neglected in British society.” Additionally, he’s always had the drive to document his surroundings. “I hope my work subtly conveys the beauty of diversity and the importance of inclusivity in a city that is rapidly changing,” he says, “often to the detriment of the disadvantaged.”



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