British photographer Julian Germain embarked on a photo series in 2004 that would require quite a bit of traveling and patience. The ongoing series, known as Classroom Portraits, began in North East England where Germain entered local schools and took simple group portraits of students in their classes. The project has since expanded across the globe to include schools in Qatar, Peru, Taiwan, Nigeria, The Netherlands, and Brazil, amongst many others.
Unlike a typical class portrait, the photographer kept a natural atmosphere. No one was instructed to sit upright or fold their hands. The only thing that Germain was interested in each of these photos was that every face could be seen. We’re all given a little insight into the educational systems, social structures, and economic divisions within each of these territories. The series enlightens the spectator on the varied environments that children across the world are educated in and the assorted classes that are taught. The series both differentiates people and exemplifies how alike we all are as children attending school.
The series is currently available in Germain’s book titled Classroom Portraits. The project is also currently on display in an exhibition titled The Future is Ours at the Netherlands Fotomuseum through September 2, 2012.
England, Seaham, Reception and Year 1, Structured Play
Taiwan, Ruei Fang Township, Kindergarten, Art
Saudi Arabia, Dammam, Kindergarden, Activities
Wales, Felindre, Reception and Years 1 & 2, Numeracy
England, Keighley, Year 6, History
England, Bradford, Year 7, Art
Holland, Drouwenermond, Primary Year 5, 6, 7 & 8, History
Peru, Cusco, Primary Grade 4, Mathematics
USA, Oklahoma, Avant, Grade 4 & 5 Social Sciences
Argentina, Buenos Aires, Grade 4, Natural Science
Tokyo, Japan, Grade 5, Classical Japanese
Peru, Tiracanchi, Secondary Grade 2, Mathematics
Yemen, Manakha, Primary Year 2, Science Revision
Yemen, Sanaa, Secondary Year 2, English
Brazil, Belo Horizonte, Series 6, Mathematics
Qatar, Grade 10, Religion
Nigeria, Kano, Ooron Dutse, Senior Islamic Secondary Level 2, Social Studies
England, Wolsingham, Year 12, English
The Netherlands, Rotterdam, Secondary Group 3, Motor Mechanics