Watch Hajar Benjida in conversation with Fiona Rogers
On 24 Jan 2023, this year’s British Journal of Photography International Photography Award winner Hajar Benjida spoke with Fiona Rogers, Parasol Foundation Curator of Women in Photography at the V&A, about her work and broader practice. Dialling in from New York, where she is based, Benjida is a Dutch-Moroccan documentary photographer whose winning series, Atlanta Made Us Famous, began in 2018 and is shot in and around the world-famous strip club Magic City, Atlanta. The images shine a light on the strength, vulnerability and autonomy of the women dancers, who might more often be seen framed through a male gaze. Here, they are pictured in confident poses, backstage, in their homes and with their families.
Benjida also delves into her photography career thus far. It began with her graduation project in 2016, where she compared images of rapper Young Thug to classical paintings, publishing the works on a dedicated Instagram account which today boasts 201k followers . She candidly shares her experience of navigating the music industry as a young photographer, working backstage at hip hop gigs in a space that is traditionally very male-dominated. And, her go-getter attitude in creating opportunities that have gained her access to photograph the likes of Skepta, Joey Bada$$, Lil Simz, Lil Yachty and many more.