What’s Up? From Welling Riots to Scoping!

Absolutely nothing really, it’s just I haven’t been on here in over a year! Time flies so fast, blink and I missed it! I’ve nearly finished an MA dissertation and that has kept me busy for the last three months, but there’s no excuse really, you can always find time to write something.

I’ve discovered Periscope and it has distracted me from my tasks of recent days. I’m wondering where it is all going. Is this the REAL death of photography, not the death I write about in academia. I don’t think so, I believe the lens is as powerful (pun intended) as it was in the days of Hine documentary photographs or the Farm Administration photographers in the 1930s USA. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it is more powerful, more politically charged right now than at any time in the last 150 years of the photograph’s existence. It just needs manipulation that’s all. Rant over.

I should finish with a photograph I suspect.


  I’ve often wondered ‘who is this old soldier?’

This was the Welling riots of late 1993, when the ANL marched on the BNP, then headquartered in Welling, South London. The police, determined to prevent that happening, stopped them in their tracks about 500 metres from their target. It was never going to happen though, the police lines were so rigid and well defended. Several horse charges later and this is what happens in such chaos. All of a sudden from the midst of chaos came this old gent, resolute and determined to have his say. Holocaust survivor maybe? WWI veteran possibly, but I never saw him again that day to ask him his story. But, his story is every reasonably minded citizen’s story isn’t it? The evil of BNP may have left Welling shortly afterwards, but their doctrine never changed. A broken force in 2015 maybe, but another will emerge from the darkness one day to spout the same racist evil, be assured of that.

Do photos have an indexical reality still? Yes, of course they do, you just need to know how to say it, how to read it and how to broadcast it. Periscope has the hallmarks of a powerful tool for the future, let’s see how it pans out (pun intended again!) and let’s not ruin it this time with some art junkie trying to make money for nothing.


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