Yasser Alaa Mobarak
"I will be happy to be a critical friend of RPS to engage more youth and students in RPS's activities. I have been working in the youth sector for 12 years in educational and photographic projects. I'm an award-winning photographer, teacher and judge. I'm an International Youth Representative at the International Education and Resource Network where I represent and organize projects for 2 million students all over the world. I worked with Adobe Youth Voices, Youth Journalism International, Delhi College of Photography and Romania National Creativity Contest. I have many ideas to increase the engagement of youth in RPS."
Yasser Alaa Mobarak is an award-winning photographer from Alexandria, Egypt. He has won photography prizes from Sony World Photography Awards, National Geographic Traveler India, National Geographic Egypt, Travel Photographer of the Year, International Federation of Photographic Art, Photographic Society of America and Prix De La Photographie Paris. Yasser's works have been featured in The Guardian, VICE, National Geographic Magyarország, National Geographic Srbija, Digital Camera World Magazine, Amatuer Photographer Magazine, Photographer's Forum Magazine, N-Photo Magazine, Smart Photography Magazine, Silvershotz Magazine, Adobe Blog and PBS NewsHour. He is holder of AFIAP distinction from the International Federation of Photographic Art, Licentiate Distinction (LRPS) from Royal Photographic Society and Associateship from Image Colleague Society International. He was judge at Adobe Youth Voices Awards, Big China Circuit, Baku Salon, Romania's National Creativity Contest, The Photographic Angle and Youth Journalism International Contest. He is visiting Faculty at Delhi College of Photography and Author at Digital Photography School.
"I work both as a Corporate Event Producer and as a Photographer and I’m committed to promoting women in photography. My photography practice is influenced by an interest in community especially in my local area - Harrow. The central concerns of my work are themes of community, diversity, memory and belonging drawing from local archives, the Internet, and personal narratives. I have an MA in Photography and Urban Culture from the Goldsmith University and a BA in Photography from the University of Westminster.
I am also a member of an all female collective called FORM, our work has been shown throughout the UK including Brighton Photo Festival and FORMAT Derby."
"As a critical friend and someone who is on the Autistic Spectrum I am keen to be involved in the community by helping other people with autism manage the difficulties they face and also by increasing other people’s awareness of these challenges.
In addition to my first-hand experience of autism, I have spent a number of years working in schools, supporting children with special educational needs.
I was recently awarded a Fellowship distinction by the RPS for a panel of images which illustrates how my heightened visual awareness manifests itself in everyday life as a result of my autism. I am passionate about both photography and autism and I would like the opportunity to show how photography can be used as a means of creative expression to voice a person’s individuality."
Mervyn Mitchell (Chair)
Mervyn is a staunch advocate for the use of photography as a means to engage and inspire communities and individuals. It is his expertise in this area which he brings to the RPS.
Within his photographic practice over the past 12 years he has worked as the Community Engagement Officer for The New Art Exchange ( the largest gallery in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts) and with schools, using photography to help bridge the gap between urban and rural schools, and introduce black role models through photography workshops.
10 years ago (until present day) he co-founded the Nottingham Photographer’s Hub, giving a voice to marginalised people and communities. They work with Adults with mental ill-health and Young People who are not in education, employment or training. During this time Mervyn has gained an MA in Photography, and continues to develop his personal photographic skills and knowledge.
"My career in aviation was cut short by a sudden and severe illness in 2001 which has now left me with a lifelong disability. I had to quickly come to terms with the fact that my life had changed and that I had to accept a new normal. While flying aircraft around the world I had always taken a camera with me, but what was once just a hobby has now become a driving force in my day to day life. I joined the DPS on recommendation from a friend who was in a wheelchair and who never let that get in the way of him taking some great images. The sudden change from being a fit and healthy individual to the realisation that life is not going to ever be the same again is a difficult one to cope with. In many ways I owe my sanity to photography for giving me a new purpose in life.
Inclusivity is a word that is often bandied around by people who often have very little understanding of what it actually means to be excluded and often even less idea of how easy it can be to fix that. It is vitally important that those who need to be included have a voice in discussions around the issue. Even the best of groups often come up short because of a lack of fully understanding the issue. I am more than happy to assist in any way that I can to ensure that nobody gets left behind."
(Tom Molloy is Chairman of the Disabled Photographers’ Society)
Dr Lucy Morley Williams
I am thrilled to be part of the EDI committee and intend to contribute fully to ensuring that the EDI and the RPS can be a beacon and exemplar of good practice and proactive engagement.
My background was initially a research Psychologist, yet found with my passion for social justice I wanted my work to have more of a direct impact. I worked either as self employed or within the voluntary sector facilitating and enabling individuals with long term health issues, (including mental health), neurodiversity, learning disabilities, disabilities, marginalised groups, elderly and children and families with disabilities to live independent lives in London. Solutions are readily available with collaboration and a willingness to do things differently, on both a micro and macro level. The communities I collaborated with typically lived in areas of deprivation, and faced multiple issues, poverty being a key feature. Challenging the status quo did not always make me popular, but I believe in advocacy and enabling equal access, respect, opportunities. Discrimination is still rife, often unconscious, yet this leads to a terrible waste of potential, that negatively affects us all.
In addition, I am a qualified Meditation and Mindfulness teacher, Life Coach and NLP practitioner.
I came to Photography in an unusual manner later in life. My world spontaneously combusted with a series of traumatic life events followed by a period of extreme ill health – led to metaphorically and literally losing everything. My smart phone and taking pictures became a lifeline and a powerful means creative expression. I am utterly hooked and was gifted with a Fujifilm XT3 – my new best friend and companion. Although I see smart phones as a brilliant was of being inclusive. I see my contribution as bringing my professional knowledge and now personal experience of ticking many “other” boxes. My particular areas of interest are Mental Health, Women, Long term health conditions, neurodiversity and LGBTQ – all of which I am happy to disclose as being part of who I am.
I aim to be part of the process of engaging at a grass roots level and proactively engaging with various groups that I feel would enrich not just the RPS, but also on a bigger scale of bringing alternative voices and experiences of being and living to the collective.
Sebah is a freelance creative producer and curator, experienced in working on international festivals, projects and events. She is co-founder and co-director of ReFramed, a photographic based visual arts network based in the Midlands, supporting the community and artists who are Black, Asian, or from other ethnic minorities. She is Director at BCVA, where her focus is to work with the South Asian Community. She is currently Project Coordinator of ‘Picturing England’s High Streets’, a Historic England funded project managed by Photoworks. She is also Creative Producer on ‘Peer To Peer UK/HK’, a digital exchange programme managed by Open Eye Gallery and the University of Salford.
Sebah was Creative Producer on the international British Council funded project with Ffotogallery, ‘The Place I Call Home’, connecting the UK to the Gulf region, culminating in 10 exhibitions in seven countries.
From 2013-2017, Sebah was Coordinator at FORMAT, the UK’s largest contemporary photography festival. She continues as a freelancer for FORMAT, organising the UK’s largest annual portfolio review. She also manages the Belfast Photo Festival Portfolio Review.
Sebah reviews portfolios internationally and mentors artists. She was on the selection panel for the RPS IPE 163 Open Call and the BJP Portrait of Britain 2021. She is also the Curator for AIS Open 2022, an online exhibition and exhibition as part of Beta X in Leicester. Currently UK editor for thephotoexhibitionarchive.com (Berlin), Steering Group member for FORMAT Festival (Derby) and a Board Member of Redeye Photography Network (Manchester).
Nicola Bolton is a businesswoman with ten years’ experience in Board Trustee/Non-Executive Director roles, including for another educational charity with significant membership. She has twelve years’ Executive Board Member experience in addition to hundreds of interactions with private sector boards of all sizes and nationalities while working at IBM and in government. A high energy leader with a reputation for openness and honesty, she has worked internationally for most of her 33-year career in the commercial and public sectors.
She has a background in manufacturing, strategy, digital transformation, and operational delivery with a track record of starting up business units and transforming underperforming operations. She has managed budgets from £100k to $2bn, influenced the policy decisions of five Cabinet-level Ministers, and led engagement with 3,500 citizens to develop a strategic local government plan. More recently, she fulfilled a lifelong ambition and qualified to teach English as a foreign language, teaching general and business English until the start of Covid lockdown in 2020. Currently she is a director of three companies.
In her spare time, Nicola contrasts quiet life in the countryside with extensive travel around the world. She has enjoyed photography since childhood and is an active photographer whether with phone or DSLR. In 2016, she received Freedom of the City of London.
Mónica is a Mexican-British multi-disciplinary visual artist, with a special focus on photography. Her work acknowledges her indigenous heritage while exploring current ideals of progress. She embraces themes related to science and technology and their influence over society and the natural world. In her projects she mixes images and new technologies, such as Augmented Reality, to create multi-layered work, producing meaning through seemingly disconnected narratives. Monica’s work references western society’s obsession with speed, expansion, and resource accumulation as an index of advancement at a time in which ecological disaster looms, and considers other ways of seeing, knowing, and being in the world. Her work has been exhibited and collected throughout Europe, Mexico and the United States. She has also received fellowships and awards from organisations including National Geographic, Mead Foundation, Photoworks, Ampersand Foundation, Bar-Tur Foundation, Autograph, Light Work, Firecracker and the British Arts Council.
Mónica is committed to showcasing more work from artists who expand and challenge current aesthetic norms. She is interested in a widening of point-of-view and development of expanded vision and relevance through the introduction of new and different creative voices. This is a result of recognising the importance of the complexity that a variety of voices and viewpoints can bring to contemporary discussions on image making. As part of her practice she nominates and mentors femme and non-binary photographers for programmes such as the Joop Swart Masterclass, as well as independently. She is also interested in developing a platform that can facilitate conversations on diverse approaches to image making, particularly those concerned with current digital practices.