There are far more significant impacts on peoples' lives in lockdown but, for the privileged, access to collective experiences of any description are one that people miss. The last exhibition I saw feels in retrospect both prophetic in its content and historic as an example of a world since turned upside down. Our experience is now like a lot of things screen based so I was impressed by the approach Four Corners took to switching their Another Eye exhibition to an online version.
A survey of women photographers displaced from Germany and Austria in an era of anti-semitism and political persecution to make new lives in Britain in the 1930s caught my attention as another reflection of our times. The perspectives and subsequent influence of these women was fascinating to discover. I confess the only one I was familiar with was Dorothy Bohm who I had the fortune to hear speak a couple of years ago at Street London.
The significance of Gerti Deutsch, Elisabeth Chat and Edith Tudor-Hart on the development of Picture Post was my highlight of the show. I love finding copies of this magazine which is such a rich resource of social history and discovering their work was another wake up to the (un)recognition of women in the history of photography. This work are great examples of the humanist tradition of photography that publications such as Picture Post and Life championed. However nowadays it's a form that is rightly challenged. The rights of people to control the representation of their lives is paramount to help empower them and dismantle stereotypes. However for me the work in this exhibition has an integrity that does not dilute its effectiveness. It's a salient illustration of what an outsider can do using their own experiences of alienation.
Empathy. An important word for our times.
I've been pursuing a style of photography now called street for a number of years. A south Londoner by birth I am pre-occupied with the West End and spend too much time there taking black and white pictures on film. I nurture a hope that one day London will be recognised like Paris, New York and Tokyo as a great city of street photography but secretly like the fact that it is still the underdog. For someone who enjoys the solitary practice of his work I am surprisingly talkative about it - although not at the same time. Here's a collection of idle musings and distracting links.
These posts are a sample of my current blog PORTRAIT OF A STREET PHOTOGRAPHER. There are 10 years of posts so please visit!