School by Raimond Wouda

My good friend and art partner in crime, Hips Like Boys just alerted me to a great series of photographs that ever so slightly reminded me of Joseph Szabo’s Teenage. In this case, ‘School’ by Raimond Wouda studies the youth culture microcosms of secondary schools in The Netherlands from 2002 to 2007. Bypassing classroom settings in favour of more relaxed recreational pursuits, Wouda focussed on group dynamics as the students cultivate their friendships and identities. Where Szabo’s photos were intimate portraits taken of his students, Wouda set his camera at a height, surveying his subjects from a distance.

You can really study these pictures for a long time, it’s like people watching without getting caught staring (I’m a terrible starer, totally indiscreet!). There’s so much to deduce from body language, facial expressions, clothes, hairstyles and of course, having been that teenager, you can also feel the sense of awkwardness, longing and belonging.