Me and Annie recently went to a photography exhibition, Strange and Familiar at the Barbican showcasing the work of international photographers on the theme of Britain. The idea was to show how they capture British life from outside its social confines, from the bowler hats and conservatism of the 1930s, through the swinging 60s to the decaying high rises of the 90s.
Most of the early photographers seemed to be Socialists; whether this was a requirement to become an early twentieth century international photographer, or just to get in to this exhibition, I’m unsure. But it did mean they all hated London, and inevitably went on a trip to Wales or Scotland to show how awful living in the capital was in comparison to having a shed and a few sheep in the middle of nowhere.
My personal highlight was from a Dutch photographer on the theme of European football. Hans Van Der Meer focused on both the space on the field as well as the backdrop to lower league matches played across the continent, evoking the atmosphere of games played in all weathers, to a handful of spectators, for the love of the game.
You can see more of the images on his site, or if you’re in London go and check out the whole exhibition in person.
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