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Ten photographers, ten weeks, each with a line of a song – a myriad of images: @theleica10 is an online collective whose members post images on Instagram inspired by a specific excerpt of a song. We have spoken with the group’s founder, Ruddy Roye, about the connection between images and music.

Could you explain the idea behind @theleica10?
The idea arose from a conversation I had with one of the other photographers involved, Travon Free, about what it would be like if we were to marry words with pictures. We felt that it might be more direct way of reaching the truth about issues such as social justice, discrimination and bias. We asked ourselves, what if one thought produces different pictures which, in turn, lead to different interpretations – how would that situation be resolved? What would a body of work that started from one single thought look like? Would all the interpretations reach towards a common theme?

I talked about how the tone and aspirations of reggae music from the ‘70s to the ‘90s have inspired the way I photograph today, and we both wondered what it would be like to photograph song lines in 2019.

What connection do you perceive between music and photography?
I believe that one of the commonalities between music and images is that good music paints pictures in our minds. This is why the combination of music and moving pictures is so effective in driving our emotions when we watch a movie in the cinema. When we were babies, our mothers and fathers might have sung to us. We have been building images from music most of our lives, so it certainly isn’t a far-fetched notion that the line of a song can conjure up visual and profoundly emotional associations.  

How did you select the photographers that are now part of @theleica10?
I started out by choosing photographers who I knew from Instagram and who also work with a Leica. Then I reached out to Leica to introduce me to particularly women photographers who shoot with Leica cameras.
I wanted variety. I wanted a mixed bunch of people who were already engaged in photographing in different ways on their Instagram feeds.

Is this a one-off project, or would you like to continue with @theleica10?
I am hoping that we can go on for as long as we stay interested. Members of the group are already thinking about other art forms, such as poetry-to-photograph.
Bob Dylan: It’s not dark yet but it’s getting there © Danny Wilcox Frazier
Bob Dylan: It’s not dark yet but it’s getting there @ Ruddy Roye
Bob Dylan: It’s not dark yet but it’s getting there @ Maggie Steber
Bob Dylan: It’s not dark yet but it’s getting there @ Travon Free
Bob Dylan: It’s not dark yet but it’s getting there @ Carlos Javier Ortiz
Bob Dylan: It’s not dark yet but it’s getting there @ Erica Blanco


Ruddy Roye @ruddyroye
Erika Blanco @erica_blancophoto
Sheila Pree Bright @sheepreebright
David J Carol @davidjcarol
Danny Wilcox Frazier @dannywilcoxfrazier
Travon Free @erwitty
Carlos Javier Ortiz @carlosjavierortiz
Lauren Kop @koparazzi
Maggie Steber @maggiesteber
Kevin Sturman @kevinsturmanstudio
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