Exhibition / 25 Jan – 23 Feb 2019

Noises in the Blood

Lua Ribeira

Noises in the Blood
© Lua Ribeira

Noises in the Blood explores Jamaican dancehall culture in the UK, focusing in particular on the role played by women, and reflecting on the ideas of femininity within this manifestation. Dancehall is the leading form of Jamaican popular culture expanded worldwide throughout Afro-Caribbean diaspora communities. In the United Kingdom, dancehall celebrations take place outside of the mainstream circuit as a standing manifestation of Jamaican identity. Although the term is relatively new, the set of practices known as dancehall can be traced back to earlier dance performances such as mento dancing, the product of a syncretic blending of African and European cultural forms.

Dancehall has been defined as a space of collective celebration and social debate, determined by the use of Jamaican Patois in the lyrics and a flamboyant performance of sexuality in the dance. Mannerisms implicit in dancehall are the cause of constant controversy in the West; it is often condemned for its dramatic, violent and sexual expressions, whilst the complexities and heritage of its tradition is widely ignored.

The project aims to challenge the stereotypical portrayal of what is often referred to as a subculture, and through the collaborative process between the artist and a group of British Jamaican women, the resulting photographs embody universal subjects such as birth, love, sex and death.

About Artist

Portrait of Lua Ribeira

Lua Ribeira

Lua Ribeira (1986) was born in Galicia, in the north of Spain. She received a BA Hons in Media Studies at the University of Vigo in 2009. In 2010 she moved to Barcelona and studied Graphic Design, where she discovered photography. Adopting it as a vocation, Ribeira moved to the UK in 2012 and later enrolled on the Documentary Photography course at the University of South Wales, where she graduated with honours in 2016.

Her practice, characterised by its collaborative nature, is the result of extensive research and an immersive approach to the subject matter. Ribeira is interested in trespassing social barriers and breaking the structural separation in relation to particular communities. By exploring the perception of life generated outside the strictly socially acceptable, her aim is to question the morals and values she grew up by.

Ribeira is the recipient of the Firecracker Grant 2015, Magnum Graduate Photographers Award 2017 and the Jerwood Photoworks Award 2018. Noises in the Blood was published in book form by Fishbar in 2017. The series was also featured in the book ‘Firecrackers, Female Photographers Now’, published by Thames & Hudson in 2017. Ribeira joined Magnum as a Nominee in 2018.