New Waves, 2021
New Waves is a collection of portraits of teenagers and landscapes inspired by global warming issues. Heat waves, wild fires and floods are evoked in a cinematic way, inspired by both sci-fi movies and actual news reports.
“Beauty and danger were the two words I kept in mind while producing the series. It had to look both engaging and uncomfortable, staged and wild at the same time, like an echo to the confusion one experiences with the dangerously nice and warm weather. The presence of teenagers implies the growing threats that the future generations will have to deal with because of climate change and its inevitable consequences on their physical and mental health.
I wanted to explore the different attitudes of the youth: if some look defiant, others, on the contrary, seem frightened. I didn’t want to show this ultra- combative youth that only seem to exist in speeches and advertising.
The portraits were shot in my London studio. Several teenagers on the photos are actual activists: Bella Lack (seen in the 2021 “Animal” documentary) is a conservationist, Lena Elghamry a mental health activist and Destiny Boka-Batesa a climate activist and poet.
The teenagers and their parents collaborated with me on each photo. It was important that with such a serious topic the process remained playful, and the photos more poetic than political.” – Raphaël Neal
The landscapes were shot in the UK and in the USA.
All portraits and landscapes were shot on Medium format.
New Waves won the 2nd Place in Creative at the Sony World Photo Awards
“Tom” was a Portrait of Britain winner 2022
“Sam” was part of Edition365 exhibition (1854 & British Journal of Photography).
The series was published in The New Yorker, La Repubblica and The Atlantic.