Student photojournalist Jess captures Colston statue drama and Black Lives Matter protest

July 01 2020
Student photojournalist Jess captures Colston statue drama and Black Lives Matter protest

A PHOTOGRAPHY student from Winterbourne captured dramatic scenes from the protest which saw a statue of Bristol slave trader Edward Colston torn down.

Jess Knight has just finished her first year studying photojournalism and documentary photography at the University of Gloucestershire.

She went to June’s Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol to record the event and gain valuable professional experience.

One of her pictures (above) caught the moment when protesters climbed on to the statue, as ropes were thrown up and tied on to it, while others (below) showed some of the thousands marching through the city.

The statue was pulled down and later thrown into the Floating Harbour. It has since been retrieved by Bristol City Council and taken to a secret location, before a final decision is taken on its future. 

Police have launched an investigation into the toppling of the statue.

Jess, who attended St Michaels C of E Primary and Winterbourne Academy before starting her course, aims to work for news agencies after finishing her course and says her ambition is to become a war photographer.

She said: “It was actually at the Ridings where I started to fall in love with photography, after reading a poem by Carol Ann Duffy called War Photographer.

I proceeded to learn about photography and after finishing college I decided I wanted to take a photojournalist course at university, which is the best decision I have made.

I can’t wait to start my second year in September!”


Protesters on the march through Bristol


Protesters on the plinth after the toppling of the Colston statue on June 7


A family at the Black Lives Matter march on June 7

All pictures by Jess Knight.