Bexit Civil war – Street photography 29th March 2019, London.
March 29, 2019, was the date set that the UK was to leave the EU but this was not to be. Like many thousands I travelled to London, not to demonstrate like most, but to capture in part the Brexit civil war that has engulfed the UK for the last two years.
Trafalgar Square down to Parliament Square was heaving with people clad in union jacks, waving anti EU and anti political signs mixed in amongst the occasional luminescent flashed of yellow from the containing and protective Police. The spirit and emotion in the crowds was high but also a little angry and more than a little frustrated. For a documentary and street photographer like myself this offered great opportunities to capture people from all walks of life, all ages, creeds and genders in a state of true expression.
The streets were awash with splashes of red, white and blue, & mixed faces in crowd’s confused revolt. As a photographer documenting the event you must put your own political thoughts and feeling aside and just capture the event, working the crowd, looking for those angles and situations.
Street photography is both easy and hard in situations like this, easy because there seems too be great photogenic opportunities all around, but hard because the angles and throngs of people make the images sometimes cluttered, messy with bodies moving in or out of frame and possibilities hard to reach in time as you wind through the throngs of people.
What I like, is that people feel free to express themselves and their emotions and this is a treat to capture, they lose their often guarded poses and fish lips faces that dominate the selfie craze that has permeated our culture and they expose their true self and identities with their release of pent up frustrations. That’s what I sought out – that face in the crowd with a message, important to them and a need to express it. The ordinary people caught up in an extraordinary situation.
Whatever the end result of Brexit will be, Britain is in a state of civil war and this is part of the changing face of the UK and the world on multiple levels: society, culture, political, cultural, technological, it can all be seen expressed in the faces and actions of people on the streets which opens up a world of possibilities for street photographers wanting to capture this moment in time.
What does the Brexit Civil war hold next for the UK? – who knows at this point, but for photographers it’s a whole lot of opportunities.