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How I attend Britain: photograph that specifies the two countries

Former Guardian picture editor Eamonn McCabes TV series Britain in Focus has been graphing the history of photography in the UK. Here, Irvine Welsh, Sadiq Khan, Jeanette Winterson, Nadav Kander and others pick the films that sum up Britishness for them

A striking miner, Orgreave, 1984

Luke Wright, poet

This rich, beautiful photo by Don McPhee indicates striking miner( Impressing? Hes perfectly gorgeous !) George Geordie Brealey( right) and policeman Paul Castle( far left) at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. What followed, known as the Battle of Orgreave, was one of the severest crashes in recent British civil history, as 6,000 police officer and 5,000 miners faced off at the Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire.

Brealey was said to have form for joking and jester with police officer on the picket line. Wearing a childs bobbies helmet, he would pretend to inspect the lines. Here is one human, sarcastically incognito, facing an infinite militarised police force. Brealey is at once brave, good-humoured and anti-establishment a British hero.

I was two in 1984, so this event is beyond my living memory, but it seems increasingly relevant to the fractions of contemporary Britain. Orgreave celebrated a turning point in the 1984 -8 5 miners strike, and for labour relations in the UK. Zero-hours contracts, the left-behind, the fractions of Brexit they point back to a moment like this.

The
The Boy With the Flag, 1970 Image: Vanley Burke

The Boy With the Flag, 1970

David Lammy, Labour MP

Vanley Burkes image imparts the promise of second-generation immigrants born in Britain after their parents had property on our beaches on the Windrush in 1948. My mothers was already in the Windrush generation, so this photo has a particular poignancy for me. Long before Linford Christie or Jessica Ennis won gold medals for Britain and wrap themselves in the British flag, these young men and women began to identify with the two countries that was their only home.

Of course, this was the beginning of a bittersweet date for ethnic minorities in Britain: Enoch Powell, hostile police sus rules, neglecting colleges and the rising strife of inner-city life for immigrant communities. But it also captures the proposed establishment of multicultural Britain and impart a feeling of hope and opportunity. This generation of ethnic minorities would go on to induce substantial myriad contributions to Britain, from the rebirth of the NHS to the transformation of the Premier League. Nothing would be quite the same again.

Didcot power station, 27 July 2014

Didcot,
Didcot power station, Oxfordshire, UK, 27 July 2014. Photograph: ajsissues/ Alamy Stock Photo

Joan Bakewell, broadcaster

I adored these refrigerating towers at Didcot in Oxfordshire[ which were demolished in July 2014] they were things of real attractivenes. Whenever I passed on the qualify, I would put down my book to enjoy them. They had enormous sweeping curves and in all conditions revolved a different look to the world. We perpetuate windmills and steam improves, so why not these?

There is something poignant about the death of constructs: industrial ones signal the be removed from one age of technology to another. Their destruction differentiates the pas of day, of one way of looking and being into another that we cant yet imagine. The moment when they fall to the floor celebrates a moment in biography started for ever. No amazement beings gaze in shock when that happens.

Soldiers
Soldiers from the Womens Royal Army Corps in their services vehicle, driving through Trafalgar Square during the VE Day fetes in London. Photo: RJ Salmon/ Getty Images

VE observances, 8 May 1945

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

This photograph captures the rapture of one of the most important instants of the 20 th century the succes over autocracy in 1945. It likewise symbolises the huge paces realise for equal opportunities in the second largest world war. Females enrolled previously all-male positions: without their campaign endeavour, we might not have prevailed over nazism.

The second world war was Britain at its excellent. It was the peoples of the territories conflict, where ordinary citizens demo fortitude and relinquish beyond our modern resources. It had confirmed that commonwealth intervention and a socialised economy can work.

Privilege and profiteering were regarded disgraceful. The common good came first. People of all grades, races and people united to defend Britain against the Nazis. We greeted refugees and allied with subjugated Europeans. The is necessary to a fairer, more equal civilization was the social consensus.

The wartime Common Wealth defendant was the equivalent of the anti-Tory alliance we need today: it joined progressives, liberals and independents. Well to the left of Jeremy Corbyn, it established revolutionary policies popular and won wartime byelections.

Social justice had mass plead in the second largest world war. The parties expected, and later reached, public ownership of major industries and the creation of the NHS and social security. They prevailed social justice in 1945. Why cant we prevail it now?

British
British politician Nigel Farage meets President Elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower, NYC, on 12 November 2016.
Photograph: Wigmore/ Finn/ Splash News

Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, 12 November 2016

Irvine Welsh, columnist

This picture of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage says so much about our new period of politics: an American millionaires tax-dodging son and an English investment banker celebrate the realisation of their nightmares. The American gets to run the world. The Englishman gets nothing but the pathetic contentment of playing tribunal fool to the American, in this new world order he has undeniably facilitated are carrying out. The dispirited and overcome former aristocrats of labour in the post-industrial American and UK wastelands, their unions crushed, their wages lowered, suppressed by 30 years of neoliberalism, get two wealthy soldiers posing outside a gold elevation. And the potent one has a unit scheming 24/7 about how to reduce them to further penury and serfdom. The Thatcher-Reagan era was the domination of the 1 %. This situation represents the official coronation of the new toytown rulers and their hapless marionettes, and the rubber-stamping of medieval, dictatorial politics in a hi-tech world-wide.

Miner
Miner at his evening meal, 1937. Picture: Bill Brandt

Northumbrian coalminer and his wife, 1937

Eamonn McCabe, photographer

In 1937, German-born Bill Brandt travelled to the north of England where he would be the first to compound styles from arts and photojournalism. As a stranger, he raised a dispassionate, intruders perspective, claiming that he wasnt making a political extent, but his images have become the defining portraits of the Great Depression.

Brandt also wanted to creating his highly stylised approach to photograph steadfast likeness of the people who lived and labor in these industrial parishes like this shot Brandts most celebrated image from his northern wander taken in 1937, of a Northumbrian miner gobbling his tea, watched over by his wife.

Although for me there is a sense that Brandt has carefully constituted this representation, leading the specific characteristics and ordering the set, does this detract from the strength of the epitome? Brandts northern study never realized him coin and was published only later. But what he had achieved with these draws was an extraordinary grouped together of styles to create a stark and evocative imagination of Britain never seen before.

Brandt never stopped pushing the borders of his art and he is rightly considered one of the most important point photographers to have worked in Britain. He would also go on to work on a groundbreaking new publication that photographed all other aspects of British life. On 1 October 1938, the Picture Post was launched, a weekly publication filled with image on every page, the fact-finding mission word to make a visual evidence of British parties at home, at work and at play.

David Weir, Paralympic Games, 2012

London
London 2012 Paralympic Games. David Weir of GB celebrates triumphing the three men T54 800 m final . . Photo: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

Melanie C, vocalist

This shot is incredible. David Weir with his mark roar is on the track in his succes constitute, limbs spread wide and his challengers blurred in the background. We have celebrated Olympic contestants for a very long time, but truly the people who are achieving stupendous happenings against the report is our Paralympians, who for so long were overlooked.

When it came to people with physical disabilities, I used to feel doubtful about the decorum, but the biggest stuff that we gained from 2012 s Paralympics was the way it changed positions in general. It was a really special hour and it altered folks views for ever. Weir held entitlements. He won the marathon. He prevailed four ambers in 2012.

Britain has a reputation for being a bit negative, a bit bleak. But that summertime we demonstrated the world how to do it. Everyone pulled together and it was a positive time to be in London. This image, together with so many others, reminds me of a year in which I felt very lucky to live in the capital. It was a wonderful occasion, and, for me, this image gives so much better superpower, fortitude, determination everything that the Paralympics was. ( As told to Harriet Gibsone )

Battle
Battle of Cable Street, Aldgate, London, 5 October 1936. An anti-fascist crowd, some of them carrying rockets, run from a barricade the government had made near Aldgate. The police are accusing on the far side of the barricade, which has been reinforced with paving stones. Image: Patrimony Images/ Getty Images

Battle of Cable Street, 5 October 1936

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London

More than 80 years ago in October 1936 thousands of brave and gallant humankinds, women and children gathered to oppose dictatorship in what became known as the Battle of Cable Street.

That day, Mosleys fascists were forced into a humiliating retreat something achieved only through the supremacy of people and communities coming together. A organization was shape of Jewish East Enders, Irish dockworkers, trade unionists, Labour party members and many more coming together in solidarity to spurn fascism and everything associated with it.

This was a historic turning point, a victory that had lasting repercussions because it was indicated that autocracy could be balk through parishes joining something that should continue to inspire us.

Last October, the 80 th commemoration of Cable Street, I was proud to join another alignment of legislators, the Jewish parish , trade union, anti-racist organisations, Bangladeshi associations and many others , is not simply to honour and remember the defy people who fought against autocracy in 1936, but to show our commitment and resolve to prolong that crusade. To say: when we watch things that are divisive, go against our British evaluates and are just essentially incorrect, we must call them out; well never let autocracy, racism or prejudice dominate. These are ethics that ring true in London, more than in all regions of the world.

Womens March, London, 21 January 2017

Womens
Womens March, London, 21 January 2017. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/ Getty Images

Kate Nash, vocalist

Whats so cool about this video is that you have an iconic British statue alongside a word on equal opportunities. There were a consignments of mansions at the status of women parade in London its become really popular to get innovative with them.

There has been a partiality within history in general for women to be small, to cross their legs and brush their mane. Even in the music industry, beings have tried to quieten me down and pack me differently. Now women want to express themselves and be a part of things. Its about grouped together to stand up for generates we believe in, and being intersectional in our feminism. This poster has such a potent letter its unapologetic, its fierce. Its not going to be tamed by anybody. Nobodys going to tell a lion to shut up theyd be eaten!

It gazes as if someone has left this sign there at the end of the march. It is a piece of art it preserves on telling a legend even when youve got on the Tube and gone home. ( As told to Leah Harper )

Richard
A Line Constituted by Walking, 1967 Photograph: Richard Long. All Right Reserved, DACS 2017

A Line Done By Walking, 1967

Nadav Kander, photographer

I has actually thoughts having this photograph in my home and it meaning different things to me at different times in “peoples lives”. Its a photo thats so full-grown. Before you understand what it depicts, its such a nourish, simple-minded epitome. Then, when “youre reading” that this was a line that Richard Long created himself, by marching up and down, up and down theres something so symbolic and subtle about it.

I love photography in which the creator can be seen in the portrait. Long has entered his own influence on countries around the world and the way he inhabits his surrounds with this photograph. That deed of making art is beautiful to me; it ever sees me incredibly happy.

I firstly saw this image when I was a photographers auxiliary in the West End of London. I used to visit Adrian Ensor, the printer in Fitzrovia who used to etch Richards work. For me, this image is like a Matisse drawing of a look, where the charcoal hasnt been lifted from the paper and yet you feel as if you are able to know the girl illustrated. Its that kind of goody and prowess that I love.

Sometimes, when an master intervenes in their artistry, I find it fantastically heavy-handed its so obvious, like an interior design magazine. But with Longs work is featherlight and nuanced. The party behind the epitome always interests me as much as the picture itself and I like to see their fingerprint in the performance of their duties. ( As told to Leah Harper )

David Cameron, June 2015

David
David Cameron at the European heads of state and governments summit at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels. The Financial Meter applied this photo following the end of Brexit. Photo: Wiktor Dabkowski/ eyevine

Jeanette Winterson, columnist

This photograph though take place within 2015 was on the front envelop of the Financial Times immediately after Brexit. Theres David Cameron, the legalised gambler, betting Britain on the roulette wheel, confident the pellet would invent quietly back to pitch-black. Instead, the financial austerity measures that drove the UK deeper and deeper into the cherry-red made certain that the gamble itself would end on cherry-red. Red alert. Red faces. The reptilian mentality of the Tory party thrilled they had been allowed to bet the country on a deluded dream of an island territory. And those cheap forgeries, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, thrilling to an outcome that would work in the service of their personal ambition.

That sickening nighttime, as the roulette wheel slow-going, the count was in, and the UK was out of Europe. Cameron and George Osborne never believed it could happen. Arrogant posh sons out of touch with the miseries their policies had wrought. No plan for what would happen next. Cameron abdicated. I belief he thought that was noble. He should have been forced to clean up his own mess. Not walk away to become millions.

But he hadnt lost his fund, or his home, or his future. He saved that for the little people. The parties his government had been gambling with all along. Abruptly there was a chance for the little beings to invent the pedal. No one “ve told them” that once again they could only forget.

The final episode of Britain in Focus: A Photographic History is on BBC4 on Monday 20 March at 9pm. <a

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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