Photofusion means something special both to creativity in London, and to the community in Brixton. We are gravely threatened by a combination of falling funding and rising rent. Please help us to move, survive, and carry on doing great work!
Photofusion is a hub for photography that has been based in the heart of Brixton since 1991. We are a non-profit resource helping people of all types express themselves through photography, with a community outreach programme that helps hundreds of young people in Brixton every year.
Why we need help.
In 2014 Photofusion lost its Arts Council funding, which had been an important source of financial support for many years. Since then, we have been working extremely hard to refocus the business so that it can continue to operate without that cushion. This has been quite successful, with some departments up 44% on where they were last year. So although it's a struggle, we were on the way to reaching financial equilibrium.
However, we now face another massive hurdle, in the form of a rent review. We have been based in Brixton for twenty-five years, with our premises forming part of historic Brixton Market. Rents in Brixton have been increasing and now our landlords have given us notice that they intend to double ours. We need to move to different and smaller premises that are in some ways better suited to our type of enterprise, but inevitably a move will be expensive in the short term and our reserves won't cover these costs.
We are therefore appealing for help so that we can move to a new smaller space, at the same time making the necessary upgrades to the resources we offer so that we can provide high quality services to photographers.
Why we have a bright future.
If we can get over this immediate hump, we believe the future for Photofusion is good. Interest in photography is increasing, whether analogue, digital, or a combination of the two. A new generation of photographers have grown up who find it easy to make photography. As their interest grows they are increasingly exploring all sorts of techniques which go beyond, or enhance what they can do in an instant. Photofusion provides a range of services which help people on this journey:
- Film developing and printing in one of London's last remaining public darkrooms.
- Specialist digital facilities.
- Training courses on a wide range of photographic skills from obscure to indispensable.
Helping others with their future.
An important part of Photofusion's work is its community outreach programme. Young people who face challenges can find great value in learning more about photography and creating their own images. Over the years, Photofusion has helped many people in Lambeth and beyond. Each year we work with 60 young offenders, and run free summer schools for children in young people in our borough. Although this aspect of our work is helped by charitable grants, it still depends on the existence of Photofusion as an organisation.
People are rooting for us.
The photography work in London is standing behind Photofusion. Photofusion has an important place in London photography's history as well as its future, and many of those who have been involved in Photofusion in the past have offered support - Rankin, Tom Hunter, Simon Roberts, Simon Norfolk, Miranda Gavin, Hotshoe Magazine and many more. Some of the rewards we have on offer show what an important place Photofusion occupies in the creative world of London and beyond.
For full details of our print sales and rewards, please download our print sales catalogue. HERE.)
A while back we tried to capture, on one page, what we do and what makes us tick. We hope that if you've read this far, it will chime with you, and that once you've seen the film you will want to give us some of the support we need. We'll be very grateful, and you'll be part of a great story...
Photofusion is a place for people from every walk of life to express themselves through photography.
We welcome. We are happy to have all sorts of people walk through our doors in Brixton. People of all income levels, origins, cultures, and levels of photography knowledge come to Photofusion. We are enthusiasts, not judges.
We know. The people who work at Photofusion really know their stuff, from the most obscure historic process to the lastest digital techniques. You won't find such a depth of practical photography knowledge anywhere else in London.
We support. We don't keep our knowledge to ourselves. Nothing gives us greater pleasure than sharing it with other people and helping them develop in their own unique way. Photography poses many questions, and we'll always try to answer them as best we can.
We converse. We do, in fact, like to talk. Photofusion is a place of conversation. About work, about techniques, about photography, about creativity, about Brixton and beauty and food and football. Anything is up for discussion.
We make. We are totally hands-on. Whatever aspect of photography we are involved with, we are utterly practical. We understand theory, but we respect craft. We don't tell anyone what to make, we just help them make it as best they can.
We provide. We have lots of kit. We have expensive kit, we have everyday kit, we have kit so obscure we're almost forgotten what it's for. And we want it to be used.
We provoke. We love the way photography can raise issues and ask searching questions. We show things that demonstrate the power of photography and people who create it - whether or not they make comfortable viewing.
We protect. Some of the people who come through our doors are vulnerable. They may face difficult circumstances outside the walls of Photofusion. But when they're inside we look after them and we celebrate the power of photography to help them find things inside themselves they never knew where there.
We are proud. Many famous images have been made at Photofusion. Many famous photographers have worked here. And many things have been achieved that started from very small beginnings. Which makes us proud.
Photofusion. Anyone can be a photographer.
For those considering backing us on one of our courses, please note that we will be scheduling these in June, and if you are unable to attend these workshops, we will offer you a place on our Autumn programme. This will be contingent upon a successful move and rebuild by that time.