The Fifth Generation looks into modern-day conspiracy theories and the information overload of our online lives. In 2020, conspiracy theories linking 5G technology with the coronavirus pandemic resulted in the vandalism of at least 100 phone masts across Europe. Part of our online misinformation landscape, conspiracy theories have today entered the mainstream. Known to thrive in times of uncertainty and linked to extremism, their prevalence is a symbol of our so-called ‘post truth society’ characterised by a lack of agreement over the nature of truth.
Mirroring the rehash culture of conspiracy theories and the internet more broadly, the work employs montage and appropriation, combining found footage from the web, social media text exchanges and official reports with my own photography to interweave various perspectives – both true and untrue. Through this, the work seeks to explore the shifting boundaries between fact and fiction in an increasingly image- and information-saturated world.
Esther Gabrielle Kersley is a research-led documentary photographer. Her work employs montage and appropriation to explore the boundaries between truth and fiction in documentary storytelling. Esther holds an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography with Distinction from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Recently, she was one of ten graduates featured in Photoworks Photography+ Graduate Issue and is the recipient of the Metro Imaging mentorship 2020. Her work has been selected for Photobook Week Aarhus, shortlisted for the BarTur Student Photo Award 2021 and longlisted for the Jerwood/Photoworks Award 2021. She has a background in Politics and Conflict Studies which informs her practice.