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Guardian publishes Quarantine Diary February 2021

See the edited series and story here:

Jillian Edelstein receives the Abstract Award in the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards 2020

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RPS Project marks 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust


This portrait of John Hadju MBE and his teddy bear, 'Teddy', who came out of Hungary journeying with him as a refugee to the UK. He is a survivor of the ghetto and the Holocaust in Hungary during WW II. This image will be included in The Lonka Project; an international collaboration of thirty professional photographers of all faiths who, since 2019, have each volunteered to donate one photograph of a survivor of the Holocaust in order to share their stories.

Manfred Goldberg, below, surrounded by his family today.


Holocaust survivors, alongside their children and grandchildren, were featured in new photographs which were released to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January. The project, a collaboration between the Holocaust Memorial Day TrustJewish News and the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) will be part of a new exhibition which will open in August at the Imperial War Museum, bringing together 75 images of survivors and their family members to mark 75 years since the end of the Holocaust. The photographers, all from the RPS, includ the RPS’s Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.

Jillian Edelstein HonFRPS commented: ‘How do you survive having your humanity stripped away in a ghetto, a concentration camp, witness the murder of your family members, be reduced to an inked number in your skin, and still remain a creature of curiosity, generosity, kindness, humour, wit, intelligence and dignity. It almost beggars belief - but that is what I saw, and I hope managed to capture, in the eyes, the being and the spirit of my extraordinary sitters. A palpable hunger for the life that was almost stolen away from them.’

Picture Britain: Our Poverty, Our People​

This new photography exhibition, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Comic Relief, celebrates the strength and resilience of people swept into poverty. It features a collection of over 20 portraits and stories from across the country, in collaboration with journalist Stephen Armstrong. Jillian asked each participant, "what is the one thing you could not live without?". Read more here.

'My Brilliant Friend' for the National Theatre.


Jillian Edelstein shoots 'Me, You and Those Who Came Before' in association with Counterpoints Arts. These images will be exhibited at The Tate Exchange and V&A. Read more about this project on  The Guardian.


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Tulip Siddiq MP for Kilburn and Hampstead photographed for 209 Women-209 MP's photographed by 209 women photographers-opens at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool from 28 February-14 April.

Solo exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa 28th October.

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Pleased to be one of the women exhibiting in Parliament, Portcullis house. Portraits of 209 female MPs have gone on show, all captured exclusively by female photographers.


A Q&A for Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) in Amsterdam. ADE is a programme to recognise primary, secondary and higher education pioneers who are using Apple technology to transform teaching and learning.


Incredibly proud to be one of Royal Photographic Society's 'Heroic Hundred' , an international campaign initiated by The Royal Photographic Society to highlight inspirational women in photography.

Speaking about the selection process, jury chair Rut Blees Luxemburg said: “The process of looking at the work of over 1000’s of photographers was incredibly stimulating and inspiring for the jury. It opened up so many new avenues of understanding in contemporary photography practices. The selection of a Hundred Heroines reflects a much larger community of female photographers, those chosen to salute and embody this community are emblematic for their inspiration, advocacy and pioneering spirit.”

Interview with BBC Afaq, a programme on BBC Arabic TV dealing with various cultural and arts subjects including theatre, cinema

Searching for Great Aunt Minna, is a narrative that takes in a personal story and one which comes full circle to the refugee story of today.
The crowd fund went live on UnBound Publishers today - it has text and photographs which makes it expensive to print and design.

the link is here…

I will happily, gratefully and enthusiastically welcome any contribution towards making this happen.
If you could pass it on to anyone who may pledge, that would be beautiful.
If you do put something in then your name will be in the book -
plus you get a copy of the book,
there are various tiers of pledges - all evident in the link below.
Thank you SO much for helping to make this happen.

Jillian Edelstein, Athol Fugard, National Theatre, collection National Portrait Gallery

Cover of The Royal Photographic Society Journal today

Honoured to be a finalist and for an image which is part of a new project started in January and ongoing. Thanks to all the young men who have agreed to be part of it.

In conversation with Liz Jobey of The FT Weekend Magazine.

Taken at my talk 'Searching for Great Aunt Minna at The Tate. Searching for Great Aunt Minna was inspired by a photograph and a commissioned photo essay for the London Sunday Times Magazine about the Sangoma, the traditional healers, (shamans) who are called by their Ancestors to heal.

Pleased to be one of this years Latin American Fotografia winners.  Above is my photo of Claudia Velasquez (right) and friends -coffee farmers in Chiapas Mexico. Traditional practices are used to grow the beans high in the mountains under the shade of lush, tropical rainforest - this prolongs ripening, rendering rich blends known as Tanim de Chiapas - the "heart" of Chiapas.

Talk in my room at The National Portrait Gallery about creating the work for the book and exhibition 'Road to 2012: Aiming High'

Jillian Edelstein for The Guardian: I can recall the moment when Nelson Mandela tried to grab my light meter as I was preparing to photograph him, because he did not know what it was. I remember that he apologised and put it down to the fact that he was "just a country bumpkin". I will never forget the atmosphere, light, mood, location, decor and people who were present. The camera in my hand served to focus my every senses. It always does.

In a news broadcast this week, I watched a woman in the middle of a street in Soweto pan her iPad across the crowd. I didn't see a connection with the event, I saw her simply recording it. That's the difference. It's image taking rather than image making. And I think that's what Dr Henkel is endeavouring to address. Read more

By Rupert Christiansen for The Telegraph: Celebrity photographic portraiture is wildly popular, and I sometimes feel that people are suckers for any old snap of someone famous. But within this over-worked genre, Jillian Edelstein's work is exceptional. Born in South Africa, with an intense interest in the politics of that nation, she was a social worker and photojournalist before coming to London in 1983 and setting up as a freelance portraitist. Her past experience tells: there's more to her work than glamour.

The National Portrait Gallery is currently showing a small retrospective of her prints, and they're not to be missed. Charged with a rare spontaneity, compositional sense and psychological acuteness, they are several cuts above the run of slick Avedon and Leibovitz imitations.

Among much else, there's a wonderful image of Blur, hunched over fags and coffee, their egos visibly clashing; a close look at Nelson Mandela which hints at the sadness behind his cheerful veneer; and a brilliantly witty double portrait of Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope embodying all the playful politics of a balletic partnership.


Acting as the chair of specialized portraits for World Press Photo 2014. The photo of the year has a magical quality to it and I believe it brings to mind so many issues of the day in the most subtle and poetic way that it will produce a new language in order to illustrate stories that matter in the world. '

I joined forces with FXB International to capture the stories of hope from the people affected by FXB's work. Embarking on a unique photographic expedition, I visted over 20 FXBVillage programmes across India, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Colombia and China.

'I dont make people laugh or smile when I am photographing them, I usually much prefer to photograph people as they present themselves to me.' On my return, I selected 25  images to display at the OXO Gallery on London’s iconic Southbank.

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