After completing his own studies, Aubrey Wade lived amongst the students of Fourah Bay University in Freetown, the capital of the small west African country Sierra Leone. Working with young people experiencing the aftermath of war, negotiating relationships amidst significant imbalances of power, had a lasting influence on his interests and work.
Often employing an ethnographic approach, Aubrey values field-based research, collaborative processes, and employing diverse means of storytelling. He takes particular pleasure in the opportunities photography presents to connect with others – at times fleetingly, at times over the course of many years – through the interactions that come with making pictures.
In his recent work, Turning Toward Justice (2013), a series of photographs that reflect on the places people turn to when seeking justice in a pluralist legal system, he develops his interests in power and authority further.
For several years (2004 – 2011) he divided his home between Freetown and London, working throughout the African continent on assignment for magazines and international NGOs. He is now based in London and continues to work for a range of international clients. He has also worked in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and South Asia.
His photographs are regularly published in leading international magazines, such as the Telegraph magazine, the Observer Magazine, the Sunday Times magazine, Foto8 magazine, Mare, “D” La Republicca Della Donne, the Guardian Weekend magazine, Newsweek, Smithsonian, and The Fader, amongst others.
Film projects include co-writing and producing Talking Borders, a fictional adaptation of long-term field research on conflict drivers in the Mano River border region of west Africa. The resulting film continues to be screened with facilitated community discussions in border communities in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
He holds degrees in Social Anthropology from Sussex University and in Photography from the University of the Arts London. He lives in Hackney, London.
He is represented by Panos Pictures.