Photojournalist Lorna Cabble spent three months hanging out with her camera, after hours – photographing the city’s late night scene. Over to Lorna to explain more about her project.
During my second year as a student in Cardiff, there was a lot of publicity on the attacks that had happened to female students around the Cathays area, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it – the subject struck a chord with me. It was really in our faces, so I just kept thinking “I really need to do a project on this, or it’s going to bother me.”
I didn’t know where to start, so I started photographing students being students on the streets of Cardiff (students are so great) and ended up seeing a poster for the “Student Safety Walk”, an organisation that gets students (both male and female) home safe, or looked after when they’re in a bit of a mess – so I contacted them to see if they’d mind me tagging along.
For this project I was probably out in town at night at least three times a week. The Student Safety Walk went out twice a week, so I made it out with them as often as I could around work. I was also out on just general shoots, and with Cardiff Street Pastors a few times too.
The things I saw were a bit shocking, but in an amusing way more than anything. All I kept thinking was “how are theses people not cold in their outfits?”, while I was wrapped up in a coat and scarf and freezing!
There was a guy who had a whole bottle of scotch to himself, he was just completely unable to do anything, and threw up every five minutes, we had to get him an ambulance – it was a bit scary. His housemates came out of the student union a while later and saw him while we were waiting for the ambulance, so we filled them in on what was happening – but they left him. That was really shocking for me, and kind of made me realise why I was documenting the kind people looking after him and others in similar positions to begin with.
I did see a few worrying scenes where there would be a guy trying to take a girl home – but she would have no idea who he was – so it was good to see that being stopped. And I also saw taxis reject a lot of lone females, or groups of females (as well as males) as their journey home wasn’t long enough for them – or sometimes they were too drunk (which I kind of understand, but it’s worrying that they’d then have to walk home). I also saw some really lovely scenes where people were just kind to each other, so it balanced out.
My next project kind of spring boards from this one: I’m photographing people who have been sexually assaulted and I’m getting their stories. I’m going for straight-forward portraiture with this one, and it’s basically aiming to encourage people to speak out about it and try and get rid of some of that stigma – like feeling like you’re to blame, or feeling like you can’t talk about it from fear.
Anyone is welcome to participate in this project, any gender, and an assault of any scale – it’s all important to me. For me personally, photojournalism is just being able to provide those who want/need it with a voice.
Lorna Cabble is in her final year of Photojournalism at the University of South Wales. Her favourite area of photography is theatre and social documentary: she is obsessed with people and their stories. When she graduates, she would love to work in theatres and to do as much NGO work as she can. She’s the resident photographer for This is Kizomba, Cardiff.