Giya Makondo-Wills
CREDIT: Giya Makondo-Wills

BOP21 - Giya Makondo-Wills with Kelly O'Brien

Event info

Giya Makondo-Wills will be in conversation with Kelly O'Brien discussing Navigating race, representation and de colonisation in the photo-book and beyond.

Giya Makondo-Wills is a British-South African documentary photographer based between the U.K and the Netherlands. Her work looks at identity, race, colonisation, the western gaze and systems of power. She holds a BA and MA in Documentary Photography from the University of South Wales (formerly Newport). As of 2021 she is a lecturer on Photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hauge.

She was nominated for the 2019 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass and in 2018 selected as one of the '31 women to watch out for' by the British Journal of Photography. She has exhibited in Lagos, Johannesburg, Dusseldorf, Milan and Paris as well as widely within the UK. Featured in several ‘graduate of the year’ profiles, she has won an IFOR documentary photography award and been shortlisted for other prizes.

Her work has been published in the British Journal of Photography, Royal Photographic Society journal, It’sNiceThat, Unseen Magazine and Source Photographic Review amongst others.

Her first photobook They Came From The Water While The World Watched is available to order by The Lost Light Recordings.


Kelly O'Brien is a visual artist, university lecturer and facilitator working with photography, text and video. Her practice focuses on hidden histories, social class, identity and the family. She is concerned with the photographic relationship to absence, investigating how invisibility, immateriality and memory can be utilised as tools of perception. Exploring how the expanding modes of documentary photography can be employed to visually manifest the unrepresentable.

Kelly’s work has been exhibited throughout the UK and internationally. Most recently at Artcore Gallery, Format Festival, Bristol Photography Festival, Odesa International Festival of Contemporary Photography (Ukraine), The Pingyao International Photography Festival (China) and Ffotogallery Cardiff. Her work has been published in Source Photographic Review, The Urbanautica Institute, Lacuna Magazine, Le Monde, Catalyst (ICVL), The British Journal of Photography and The Guardian amongst others.

Details of all the talks taking place at BOP21 can be found here

Information on BOP21 is available here

Event Organiser

Michael Pritchard


Venue Information

All areas are fully accessible with a lift, ramps and restrooms on each floor. If you have any specific requirements, please contact us on so we can assist you during your visit.

There is public parking in Paintworks. We also have reserved parking spaces we can make available for those with accessibility requirements. Please contact us in advance if you would like to reserve a space. From ground level there are lifts to reach RPS House on the raised ground floor.

Cancellation policy

The RPS and the MPF will do their best to ensure that this series of talks runs as planned. In the unlikely event that BOP21 or individual talks have to be cancelled all registrants will be advised by email at the earliest opportunity and full refunds made.  No responsibility will be accepted for any consequential losses.


RPS House

337-340 Paintworks

Arnos Vale



RPS website