'YOUNG LOVE' IS A PASSIONATE PORTRAIT OF JAMAICAN CULTURE

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Church leaders speak out against it, parents might wag a finger at it,
but all the youth of the nation live for their homegrown music culture.

From the first minute you walk out of the airport you hear dancehall and reggae booming out of the taxis – those sounds follow you everywhere you go on the island. 

Jamaica is a land of strong passions and music is top of that list.

With these words the photographer Ivar Wigan has debuted a new project at London’s PM/AM gallery that documents his two years spent living in Jamaica, forming and documenting his relationships with the hustlers, dancers, street kids, and families that make Jamaican street and Dancehall cultures housing a potent melting pot of transient ideas.

From Downtown Kingston to Montego Bay, the Scotland-born shooter documented the unique dancehall culture that he once witnessed from visits at a young age, and grew to love more than ever after residing in the country.

Titled Young Love, the series’ backbone is made up of the country’s dancehall community, capturing dancehall culture within Jamaica’s strip clubs, its backyard parties and the mornings after – the night-before melting away into the peaceful stillness of a local’s bedroom.

But he didn’t want to take stereotypical, voyeuristic images that objectified women. His close relationships with community members allowed Wigan to authentically capture both the harsh truths and pure beauty embedded within the spirit of Jamaica’s dancehall scene. The majority of the people featured in the photos are good friends of him that he met as he settled on the Island, and the reality behind the frames are not always as sweet, there is always a dark side to life too and he felt it was important to show an honest portrait from every angle.

Ivar Wigan's work will be showing at London’s PM/AM until 11 September 2017.

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