Photographer Marc Vallée on two decades of documenting youth culture

Photographer Marc Vallée on two decades of documenting youth culture
Shooting, spraying and the streets — Prolific photographer and DIY zinemaker Marc Vallée gives us the lowdown on his self-publishing talk at Tate.

“For the last twenty years plus I’ve been documenting youth culture, from graffiti, defensible architecture and skateboarding to political dissent, plus so much more,” explains Marc Vallée.

Vallée is a London-based documentary photographer who, alongside his long-term chronicling of the capital’s youth, has worked on major projects around police surveillance of protesters, journalists and activists.

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He’s also DIY publishing pro, getting his work out there through grassroots arts projects like The Photocopy Club and mountains of zines, like Queer, Tiergarten Transgression and Anti-Skateboarding Devices.

His zinemaking has been recognised by Tate gallery, who snapped up all of his zines to put in its library collection. They’ve also invited him to talk about his work on Friday 6 May. “I’m going to be talking about my zines and my approach to self-publishing and the crossover between photobooks and zines,” he explains.

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Tied up with his zinemaking is the inspiration he finds in elements of youth culture, from street art to youth protest. “It’s all important and has also become a huge part of my own life,” he says. “In some ways the documentary work has partly become autobiographical. It captivates me because I care about the subjects, issues and politics. When people and groups trust you it’s a huge responsibility.”

Catch Marc Vallée’s talk at Tate Britain, Friday 6 May from 12.30. Entry is free but booking is advised.

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