Congregation by Sophie Green is a celebration of Southwark’s Aladura Spiritualist African churches and congregations. Green's work observes a rich tapestry of worshippers and Sunday services, where traditional dress, food and customs rub up against modern technology and fashion and devotional interiors colourfully fill the hidden, often industrial spaces that churches inhabit. Green engages directly with individuals through collaborative, posed portrait sessions and photographic workshops which serve to empower and engage with members of each congregation and their faith. Mixed in with naturalistic images of men, women and children, these stylised portraits highlight the performance of identity and communality that underpins religious practice.
We worked continuously with Sophie on editing and sequencing as she continued to shoot and finish this project. The resulting book takes the standard King James Bible format and fills it with vivid, immersive portraits. An elegant white silk cover mimics the flowing white clothes of churchgoers, while an arresting tipped-in portrait gazes confidently back at you.