Island Expedition Founders Join Project

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The Bahamian Project is pleased to announce the addition of Nicolas and Dragan Popov as Advisors to the Project.

The brothers are founders of the legendary Island Expedition. Their trips throughout the islands of The Bahamas, back in the 80s and 90s, documented the culture and environment of the whole Bahamas.

Nicolas (University of California Santa Cruz – Marine Biologist/Photographer) and Dragan (Stanford University – Anthropologist) traveled throughout the Islands – often with researchers and students – to photograph and study the lifestyles and culture of the different islands. Fascinating images and data were collected, confirming their belief that there is no substitute for seeing the islands and the people first hand.

Their highly acclaimed work can be found in five Island Expedition publications and several other books. Numerous presentations to schools in The Bahamas and Universities in the USA (Miami, Stanford, UKSC, Columbia) were made. Weekly articles were published in the local papers in Nassau and in monthly publications and scientific journals in Europe and America. Island Expedition represented the Bahamas at the world Expos in Genoa, Italy (1992) and Lisbon, Portugal (1998) with Photographic exhibits. A number of film documentaries were made for American and French television.

The Popov’s involvement will enrich our Project with data and images of life in The Bahamas 30-40 years ago. This allows us to appreciate what has changed and which of those changes have been most beneficial.

We are especially excited and grateful to Nicolas, who will be joining our Photographic team as well. Nicolas has already donated hundreds of his vintage images of the brothers’ former expeditions to the Project. It took some time to sort through the images, prepare, scan and process them for publication.

Photo by Nicolas Popov

It was well worth the time and effort. There are hundreds of fabulous images that document the beauty of the Bahama Islands and life in the islands more than a quarter century ago.

The Bahamian Project was founded in 2012 by photographers Duke & Lisa Wells as an ongoing, fine-art photography and cultural initiative. The initial goal of the Project was to create a permanent collection of photographs to provide recognition, foster cultural awareness and create a historical record of people whose lives represented the heart and soul of The Bahamas.

The first phase consisted of a body of work featuring studio portraits taken by Mr. Wells. The 52 portraits resulting from this series were displayed at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) in a successful, well-attended exhibition.

For the second phase of the Project, Mr. Wells invited 20 additional photographers to join the Project and they photographed another 80 people. This second series of images was displayed at the Central Bank Gallery in an exhibition with attendance that exceeded even the most optimistic expectations.

photo of exhibition at Central Bank
Central Bank Gallery Exhibition

The Bahamian Project is now in its third phase, expanding beyond formal portraits and exploring the unique reality of Bahama Island life, capturing images of the people, culture and environment of the islands and the relationships that have woven the fabric of our Bahamian society.

With the images from the Popov brothers and other talented additions to our photography team, the third phase of the Project will be a spectacular collection of images focused on the lifestyles of people in the Bahamas environment.

Photo by Nicolas Popov

These slice-of-life moments of people in their environment will be captured in a more candid nature. Coupled with beautiful and dramatic images of the island landscape, the Bahamian Project will showcase scenes of The Bahamas and highlight the role our environment plays in the lives of people in The Bahamas.

Photo by Nicolas Popov

Photographers – often accompanied by a videographer and a writer – are being sent on assignments to family islands to visually capture the stories of island life in a beautiful, positive way.

The Bahamian Project will also hold exhibitions of the new work in cities around the globe and independently producing coffee table photo books centered around Bahamian themes.

Thank you for joining us on our journey and supporting the Bahamian Project.

One Reply to “Island Expedition Founders Join Project”

  1. Delighted to know of this project. I’m inspired by your work. Kindly keep me connected to what you are doing.

    Philip Stubbs

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