About the researcher

Alan Conteh is a photographer interested in environmental issues, particularly air pollution in urban settings. His project, "Photographing the Invisible," explores the complex interplay between visual storytelling, public awareness, and policy regarding air quality in London. Through his work, Alan seeks to make visible the often invisible consequences of air pollution, employing photography in environmental advocacy. 

Alan's academic foundation in photography is robust, having achieved a first-class BA from Falmouth University in 2021, followed by an MA with Distinction in 2023. His educational journey has significantly shaped his approach to photography, marrying technical skills with a deep conceptual understanding of environmental themes. This academic excellence underscores Alan's commitment to his craft and his ability to engage critically with pressing ecological issues through his lens. 

Research interests

Photography, Ecology, Urban soundscape, Activism, Sustainability, Environmental policy, Walking, Psychoanalysis, Storytelling, Climate Change, The Anthropocene 

Alan Conteh

PhD Abstract

Thesis title

Photographing the Invisible: Exploring the Relationship Between Photographic Narratives, Public Perception, and Policy Regarding Air Pollution in London 


This research explores the potent role of photography in documenting and influencing public perception of air pollution, a critical yet often overlooked environmental issue. By integrating my photographic practice with an analytical framework, the study aims to unveil the invisible menace of air pollution, making it palpable and urgent. My approach involves creating a compelling photographic narrative that captures the nuanced impact of air pollution on urban life–the human, the non-human, and the more-than-human–to stimulate a deeper public engagement and dialogue. The methodology combines semiotics to engage with the complexities and subtleties of visual data, audience reception studies and context analysis of archival materials to assess the transformative potential of visual storytelling in environmental policy. My work seeks to contribute to a reimagined discourse on air quality, advocating for more inclusive and effective policy interventions. This research not only raises the issue of air pollution but also posits photography as a crucial instrument for environmental and policy advocacy.


Year Qualification Awarding body
2021 BA (Photography) First Class  Falmouth University
2023 MA (Photography) Distinction  Falmouth University

Honours & awards

Year Description
2023 Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) 
2021 IPA Honourable Mention 

Areas of expertise

  • Environmental Photography 
  • Air Pollution 

Professional engagements

  • Exhibition: PhotoFrome 2023 - The Intersectional Matter 
  • Exhibition: Broken Tool, 2022
  • Exhibition: Landings: Retake the World, 2021
  • Exhibition: AOP Black and Minority Ethnic Member Spotlight Focus, 2020

Visit Alan's website