Paul Reas: Elephant and Castle

When colour began to alter the course and character of what had become known as 'independent photography’ in Britain during the 1980s, it was widely seen as a move away from the forms of political engagement and social concern enshrined in the British documentary tradition towards a less committed aestheticism.

In reality it was far more complex than that. The reductionist view that it was simply a matter of documentary vs art was blinkered to the broader picture of photography’s growing sophistication and Britain’s new social landscape, including the shifting patterns of class being redrawn under Thatcherism.

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Published in Photoworks Issue 10
Commissioned by Photoworks

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