Jamaican Photography Project - lifestyle spotlight

A project by: Dexter

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Help me return to Jamaica and finish the work I started!

Hi, my name is Dexter McLean and I am studying for my Masters in Photography at Middlesex University.

Last year, I self-funded a trip to Jamaica so I could undertake a photography project. The responses to the photos I took on my trip have been overwhelmingly positive, so I am hoping to return and build on the portfolio of work I have undertaken to date. 

You can see a few photos taken on my last trip throughout my crowdfund page, including the one immediately below:

What i hope to achieve with my project

I want to use photography to compare and contrast the lifestyles of Jamaicans who have migrated to the UK with those living in Jamaica. I will be focussing on Jamaicans of all ages and gender. with this project, I hope to take my photography to a more advanced level and to use different perspectives and approaches.

Why a return trip to Jamaica matters to me

Returning to Jamaica would be an absolute plus as it would provide me with the opportunity to attain even more photographs for my final project.

During a second trip, I also hope to gain access to a school in Kingston, Jamaica for children with disabilities, which I didn't manage to before. A friend is currently helping me with this as I want to use photography to show the struggles faced by the disabled people who live in Jamaica but also their strengths.

This particular part of my project follows on from my BA degree in Photography as my major project was on disability and the way in which disabled people are under-represented in society. The project was a big success and a landmark for me as it contributed to earning me a First Class BA Honours in Photography. 

MY LOVE for PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE STORIES IT CAN HELP TELL

My love for Photography was kindled when my aunt bought me a camera at the age of thirteen. I became obsessed with it and I believe this was the moment when my career as a photographer started. 

WHY THIS PROJECT MATTERS TO ME PERSONALLY

I was born on 23 March 1993 in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to London aged nine in 2002. I was officially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of six months and while my mother’s family was solidly behind me growing up, my father’s family were not.

After my fifth birthday, I was enrolled in a primary school in Kingston. There we had just one room for disabled pupils with no dedicated facilities. It was an unforgettable experience for me.

Two years after my arrival in London, I was enrolled into a disabled school - I had never seen so many disabled students in one school, each with wheelchairs and other modern facilities allocated according to their individual disabilities. This really opened my eyes to how disabled people can be loved, encouraged and supported by others and by each other.

These personal experience have played a major part in my desire to explore in fuller depth how the lives of Jamaicans living in the UK contrast with those living in Jamaica itself. 

where your money will go

The money I raise through this campaign will go on flights and travel alone. Throughout my stay in Jamaica, I will be living with family so accommodation and food/drinks are all covered. I just need your help to get me back out there so I can add further depth to my  project through the additional photos I take!

WHAT YOU GET AS A THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATION

Please check out the right hand side of my page for more information about my rewards. Apart from these, the main reward and satisfaction comes from knowing that you are helping to give people who face a lot of hardship a voice - even though you don’t know them personally. 

HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD AND A THANK YOU FOR ANY SUPPORT YOU CAN PROVIDE!

Even if you can’t donate, you can still play an important role in helping me turn my project into a reality by sharing a link to my crowdfunding page with as many people as possible!

I will be sharing updates of my progress with this project on my page and with my donors.

Keep up to date with my progress

I will be updating everyone on my campaign as it progresses. To find out more about this project and me as a photographer, you can go to:

Instagram - www.instagram.com/dextermcleanphotography/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/Dextphotography

Facebook - www.facebook.com/dextermcleanphotography

LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/dexter-mclean-10160b148/

Website: www.dextermclean.com

WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT MY PHOTOGRAPHY

"Every so often you come across a photographer with a truly unique voice. A photographer who's own personal experience means he can tell a story in a way nobody else can. Dexter McLean is one of those photographers.

"I've seen his work - it's strong, insightful and at times confrontational. I know from personal experience that it’s not easy working in the world of photography with a disability. People are quick to judge what you can and cannot do based on their opinions. Dexter has his own challenges in life and has overcome a great deal of challenges - but when it comes to photography - his work should be judged on its own merits and in my opinion, is great and shows huge potential." - Giles Duley, Photographer

"Dexter is a very talented photographer with an incredible drive. His disability has never held him back - quite the opposite - he is the first in his family to get a university degree (achieving a first, BA Photography) and is now continuing his studies doing a Masters in Photography. For his Jamaica trip he will need financial support and I sincerely hope the Go-Fund-Me appeal will be a success so he can fulfil his photographic project there." - Eva Vermandel, Lecturer - Photography, Middlesex University London (Former Tutor)

"Dexter is a remarkable student who has shown such a determination and perseverance that he has managed to achieve amazing things in his photography. His sensitivity to his subjects and his deft handling of the photographic process set him apart from many of his contemporaries. I hope Dexter can raise the money necessary for his project and that he can take his photography even further. I wish him all the luck in the world." - Steven Barritt, Lecturer - Photography, Middlesex University London (Former Tutor)