Toby Binder was born 1977 in Esslingen, Germany and studied at the Stuttgart Academy of Art and Design. Toby’s photography predominately focuses on social, environmental and political topics. Based in Argentina and Germany, Toby focuses on working-class life by developing long-form documentary projects. He is mostly interested in topics of post-war and crisis situations as well as in the daily life of people.
Toby has documented working class life in Britain for over a decade with a heavy focus on youth culture. In March 2019 he released an incredible body of work titled ‘Wee Muckers – Youth of Belfast’ which has been published by Kehrer. The images from the series were photographed in six different areas of Belfast, focusing on teenagers in six different Protestant and Catholic neighbourhoods. The images provide an intimate insight into the daily lives of a whole generation in the city.
A large body of Toby’s work focuses heavily on street football culture in Scotland – with young people playing ‘fitba’ on pitches, backyards and in the street in every corner of the country.
Toby “For me, there is no other nation in Europe suffering a larger gap between passion created expectations on the one hand, and success – or, better, failure – on the other. I really keep my fingers crossed that the Bravehearts will finally qualify again for the 2022 World Cup!”
When I came to Scotland for the first time in 1996 I was fascinated by the enthusiasm of the Scots for football, and its importance in the community, despite the country’s lack of success at international level. I love this street football mentality very much and for me it belongs much more to this sport than any youth academies of the big clubs. It represents the essence of sport and therefore also teaches for life; you don’t have to be successful to love something or feel passion for.”
Toby’s photographs capture something special, you can see that he has a true connection to his subject which comes through in each photograph. The images in his ever expanding archive will be come an important documentation of football and street culture in the UK. Here at BCA we look forward to seeing more of Toby’s work.
His work has been awarded internationally, e.g. with a Gomma Grant, by LensCulture and Life Framer in 2020, the Felix-Schoeller-Award in 2019, Philip-Jones-Griffiths-Award in 2018, the Sony-World-Photo-Awards in 2019 and 2017 and the Nannen-Preis in 2017. The same year he received an Honorable Mention by UNICEF Photo of the Year.