#Me My_Selfie and I: Huawei + Saatchi Gallery

Wednesday 5 July 2017, 6.30pm | Saatchi Gallery

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Inset images (l-r) © Chris Levine 2017; © Felicia Hodoroabă-Simion 2017; © Alma Haser 2017 

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We are living in the age of selfie mania. Everyone from the Pope to Obama has appeared in one. In the past, only a handful of people were able to propagate their own images, whether it was artists like Rembrandt or Van Gogh painting self-portraits, society beauties commissioning fashionable artists to create a flattering likeness of themselves to be admired by a select few. But now, the smartphone has democratised visual self-expression. The instant transferability of photos to social media and imaging apps at our disposal allow us all to constantly ‘curate’ our look and present ourselves as we want the world to see us, recording ourselves day by day.

But what effect is this cultural addiction having on us? Do we look out at our exciting world as observers full of curiosity, or do we simply wonder how we look in it, and what filter would work best? Has the selfie reduced life to a popularity contest governed by likes, Instagram followers and Facebook friends? How do we deal with the increasing social pressure to constantly post images of an impossibly perfect self?

Huawei and the Saatchi Gallery are bringing together a panel from the worlds of cultural criticism, social media and neuroscience to discuss the impact of selfie culture from a multitude of perspectives. The event will be hosted at the Saatchi Gallery on 5th July, where the exhibition ‘From Selfie to Self-Expression’, presented by Huawei is currently on display.

Following the debate everyone will have the chance to participate in an exclusive photography experience using the award-winning Huawei P10, co-engineered with Leica. Drinks will be served amid thousands of works by acclaimed artists including Tracey Emin, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Cindy Sherman, Gavin Turk and Velázquez. Alongside them are selfies taken by celebrities and the general public, which have become icons of the digital era – from the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and downright dangerous.


Sarah Diefenbach

Professor of market and consumer psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich. Her research explores the side effects of technology use on happiness and the psychological effects of social media.

Alex Lambrechts

Prominent fashion, lifestyle and documentary photographer, photographic director of The Fall magazine, and a regular contributor to Leica LFI. Known for his for his signature black and white street/documentary style applied to fashion, advertising and editorial campaigns.

Will Storr

Award-winning journalist and novelist, whose work has appeared in The Guardian Weekend, The Sunday Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Esquire He is the author of Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It’s Doing to Us.

Pandora Sykes

Journalist, broadcaster, stylist and brand consultant who has written about culture, social commentary and fashion for titles including New York Magazine’s The Cut, Vogue Australia, Red magazine, Marie Claire and Net-a-Porter’s The Edit. Until January 2017 she was Fashion Features Editor and Wardrobe Mistress columnist at The Sunday Times Style. She co-hosts the weekly pop-culture/news podcast, The High Low.


Clemency Burton-Hill

Broadcaster, novelist and musician. As well as presenting Breakfast on Radio 3, she is a presenter of The Culture Show, BBC Young Musician, The Review Show, the BBC Proms, and numerous other arts and current affairs programmes.


(Will Storr Image courtesy of Jay Brooks)


Speakers are subject to change.