REVOLTING BRITONS is an exhibition about the politics of the street from anarchist thugs through to nazi scum. But not just riots, also the humour that perhaps only the British can bring to protest
The history of this exhibition is a story in it’s own right. I teamed up with fellow photo-jounalist Gary Trotter, before we founded Image Sans Frontiers, the world’s first all digital delivery picture agency, to do the show. At that time, during the Thatcher and Major premierships, there were a lot of street protests and Gary and I were, possibly because we had conflict zone experience, often commissioned to cover events that the picture desks thought might get out of hand. We covered so many that we were often referred to as “Riots’R’Us’ and we were often heard to call ourselves “The Fleet Street Expendables” as some of these assignments got quite dodgy.
I’m not anti-police, as anyone seeing myearlier show “A Quiet Night” will be able to tell, I have a lot of time for most of the people in the emergency services. I went out of my way to see that Revolting Britons presented a balanced picture. This was an exhibition about the relationship between the electorate and their politicians It’s main thrust, was that under the Thatcher/Major Conservative governments many people felt totally alienated from the political process and were more likely to take protests to the streets than to lobby an MP. It is also about the way the police are used to control the very people who pay their wages i.e. the taxpayers or their sons and daughters. When police attack a legitimate protester, and let’s face it they sometimes do, it’s odds on that it’s a young person, whose parents helped to pay for the police presence. I hope that the exhibition and it’s attendant publicity and reviews made people think about what was done by their public servants on their behalf On the other hand when anarchy reigns and the streets become a battlefield how many businesses that get damaged help to support the families of the rioters? Please see the show and start to ask your own questions