“Teenage Wildlife", 2019 | Morganna Magee

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Morganna Magee is an Australian social documentary photographer and educator based in Melbourne, Victoria. Morganna’s work centres around long term projects in which the relationship between photographer and subject challenge the traditional notion of the impartial gaze of the photographer. To date her personal work has explored the issues and complexities around disability, grief and womanhood. Morganna is a founding member of Lumina Collective. Her images have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Age, The Big Issue, The Weekend Australian magazine, Art and Australia magazine, Broadly,com, Wooden toy Quarterly, Lostateminor, and Black and White Magazine. Morganna lectures in Photo Imaging at Swinburne University of Technology.

We spoke to Morganna about her series “Teenage Wildlife” which is about to be published as a book.

My teenage years are vivid. After a childhood marred by sadness I relished in the independence of being able to rebel. I was shaped by those wild years, though the only physical evidence remaining are the scars on my arms, my teen years have made me an uncommonly calm adult.

Daisy, Shania and Teeya are three young women from the same family. Over the years in which Magee has photographed them, the relationship between sitter and photographer has allowed for a collaborative practice in which the girls are allowed autonomy over their representation.
Experiencing their first heartbreak and other universal rights of adolescent passage in combination with poverty, crime, lack of education and systemic neglect of their mental health, the girl’s teenage years end abruptly with the birth of a child.
Statistically teenagers in Australia are healthier and more privileged than ever before however for girls like Daisy, Shania and Teeya, intergenerational poverty, mental illness and lack of education paints a different picture.

To see more of Morganna’s work, visit https://www.morgannamagee.com/

All images and text © Morganna Magee