Royal appointment for Maryam

Former Cadbury College student joins Duchess of Cambridge as Hold Still judge.

Accomplished former Cadbury Sixth Form College student and award-winning photographer Maryam Wahid has been working on the ultimate judging panel – headed up by The Duchess of Cambridge.

Maryam was invited to join the virtual panel to select 100 final images for the National Portrait Gallery project Hold Still, the community photography project launched by the Duchess in May.

Hold Still invited people of all ages, from across the UK to submit a photographic portrait which they had taken during lockdown. The project, which spanned a six-week period, aimed to capture and document the spirit, the mood, the hopes, the fears and the feelings of the nation as we continued to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Maryam said: “It has been a phenomenal opportunity to be a judge for Hold Still. A lot of things have happened during the coronavirus lockdown and to see the emotions and experiences of people has been extraordinary. I am so overwhelmed by the heroic work done during this time by the NHS, volunteers and essential workers.

“The lockdown has affected all of our lives and we will have our own experiences of it. For me, every single image submitted has a narrative and is a valuable photograph. All of the images taken in this time are evidence of how lifestyle, celebrations, relationships, birth, death and religious festivities drastically changed during the coronavirus pandemic in Britain.”

The Duchess of Cambridge said: “I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has entered and taken part. And a big thank you to my fellow judges. I hugely appreciate the time and dedication that they have shown towards the project.”

Maryam’s photographic work explores her identity as a British Pakistani Muslim woman. She expresses the origins of the Pakistani community in her hometown Birmingham by exploring her deeply rooted family history; and the mass integration of migrants within the United Kingdom. Her work explores the female identity, the history of the South Asian community in Britain and the notion of home and belonging.

During her time at Cadbury College, Maryam studied A-Level Photography before furthering her grounding in the subject at Birmingham City University. She has since been commissioned by The Guardian and the Financial Times, among other prestigious publications, and most recently received the British Muslim Award for Young Achiever of the Year 2020.