‘Noises’ by Galician photographer, Lúa Ribeira, is a series produced between 2015 and 2019 inspired by Jamaican dancehall culture in the UK. Made in collaboration with a group of British Jamaican women in Birmingham, London and Bristol, Ribeira became progressively interested in the movement as a form of cultural resistance within the context of British colonial history, as well as its vast influence upon western popular culture.

Embracing a performative approach, the images in the series lack typological norms throughout and aim to unsettle the viewer with a chaos of unexpected imagery. Often photographed in the homes of the protagonists, the domesticity clashes with the unrestrained vitality of the gestures and outfits – amplifying the transcendent aspects of this dynamic encounter that touches upon universal themes such as birth, love, sex, and death.

The work’s title is in reference to Dr Carolyn Cooper’s book ‘Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender, and the”Vulgar” Body of Jamaican Popular Culture’. Through studying Cooper’s work, ideas around womanhood and its conception within the West became a point of reflection for the series. The images playfully dissect ideas around femininity and sexuality, which also served as a mirror for the photographer’s own cultural background – encountering in dancehall a more assertive role in relation to one’s own body and sexuality in opposition to the eurocentric canon of beauty that has prized fragility and prudence.

Ribeira is widely interested in the political and emancipatory functions of cultural expressions and tradition, stemming from her own heritage as Galician. Recipient of the Jerwood/Photoworks Award and the Firecracker Grant, ‘Noises’ was exhibited at Fishbar alongside a limited edition Leporello book of the work published by Fishbar Books.

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