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How I visualize Britain: photograph that define the two countries

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

A stunning miner, Orgreave, 1984

Luke Wright, poet

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

Brealey was said to have form for joking and comedian with police officers on the picket line. Wearing a childs bobbies helmet, he would pretend to inspect the lines. Here is one husband, 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 reminiscence, but it seems increasingly relevant to the fractions of contemporary Britain. Orgreave tagged a turning point in the 1984 -8 5 miners ten-strike, and for labour relations in the UK. Zero-hours contracts, the left-behind, the splits of Brexit they object back to a moment like this.

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

The Boy With the Flag, 1970

David Lammy, Labour MP

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

Of course, this was the opening up of a bittersweet age for ethnic minorities in Britain: Enoch Powell, unfriendly police sus rules, flunking colleges and the developing strife of inner-city life for immigrant communities. But it also captivates the birth of multicultural Britain and impart a being of hope and possibility. This generation of ethnic minorities would go on to see 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 loved these cooling towers at Didcot in Oxfordshire[ which were swallowed in July 2014] the latter are happenings of real beautiful. Whenever I passed on the develop, I would put down my journal to enjoy them. They had great sweeping curves and in all weathers rotated a different face to the world. We perpetuate windmills and steam trains, so why not these?

There is something poignant about the death of structures: industrial ones signal the be removed from one period to new technologies to another. Their eradication marks the run of meter, of one way of looking and being into another that we cant yet imagine. The minute when they fall to the field markers a moment in record disappeared for ever. No think people gaze in bewilderment when that happens.

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

VE fetes, 8 May 1945

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

This photograph captivates the exhilaration of one of the most important point instants of the 20 th century the victory over dictatorship in 1945. It likewise symbolises the huge steps moved for gender equality in the second world war. Dames recruited previously all-male occupancies: without their battle effort, we might not have prevailed over nazism.

The second world war was Britain at its good. It was the peoples of the territories struggle, where our citizens testified fortitude and relinquish beyond our modern curiosities. It have confirmed that commonwealth involvement and a socialised economy can work.

Privilege and profiteering were deemed shameful. The common good arrived firstly. Beings of all classifies, races and nations joined to represent Britain against the Nazis. We accepted refugees and allied with subjugated Europeans. The need for a fairer, more equal culture was the social consensus.

The wartime Common Wealth party was the equivalent of the anti-Tory confederation we need today: it united progressives, liberals and independents. Well to the left of Jeremy Corbyn, it drew revolutionary programs favourite and prevailed wartime byelections.

Social justice had mass petition in the second world war. The beings challenged, and later reached, public ownership of major industries and the creation of the NHS and social security. They triumphed social right in 1945. Why cant we prevail it now?

British
British politician Nigel Farage satisfies 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, writer

This picture of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage says so much about our new epoch of politics: an American millionaires tax-dodging son and an English investment banker celebrate the realisation of their dreams. The American gets to run the world. The Englishman gets nothing but the happy satisfaction of playing courtroom jester 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 smashed, their wages lowered, subdued by 30 years of neoliberalism, get two prosperous husbands posing outside a golden filch. And the potent one has a team scheming 24/7 about how to reduce them to further penury and serfdom. The Thatcher-Reagan era was the domination of the 1 %. This image represents the official coronation of the brand-new toytown sovereigns and their hapless puppets, and the rubber-stamping of medieval, despotic politics in a hi-tech world.

Miner
Miner at his evening banquet, 1937. Photograph: 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 forms from arts and photojournalism. As a immigrant, he introduced a dispassionate, intruders perspective, claiming that he wasnt making a political detail, but his drawings have become the defining images of the Great Depression.

Brandt too wanted to drawing his highly stylised approach to photograph implacable photographs of the people who lived and driven in these industrial parishes like this shot Brandts most celebrated photo from his northern travel take place within 1937, of a Northumbrian miner ingesting his tea, watched over by his wife.

Although for me there is a sense that Brandt has carefully constituted this visualize, leading the characters and organizing the set, does this detract from the dominance of the likenes? Brandts northern task never attained him fund and was published only later. But what he had achieved with these paintings was an unprecedented coming together of styles to create a stark and colors image of Britain never seen before.

Brandt never stopped pushing the boundaries of his art and he is rightly considered one of the most important photographers to have worked in Britain. He would also go on to work on a groundbreaking brand-new publication that photographed all other aspects of British life. On 1 October 1938, the Picture Post was propelled, a weekly magazine filled with photograph on every page, its mission affirmation to make a visual register of British beings at home, at work and at participate.

David Weir, Paralympic Games, 2012

London
London 2012 Paralympic Games. David Weir of GB celebrates prevailing the mens T54 800 m final . . Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

Melanie C, singer

This shot is incredible. David Weir with his mark wail is on the trail in his succes constitute, limbs spread wide-eyed and his opponents blurred in the background. We have celebrated Olympic contestants for a very long time, but certainly the people who are achieving prodigious circumstances against the report is our Paralympians, who for so long were overlooked.

When it came to parties with physical disabilities, I used to feel unsure about the decorum, but the biggest circumstance that we gained from 2012 s Paralympics was the way it changed stances in general. It was a really special period and it changed peoples attitudes for ever. Weir held entitles. He won the marathon. He triumphed four ambers in 2012.

Britain has a honour for being a bit negative, a bit pessimistic. But that summer we presented 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 experienced very lucky to live in the capital city. It was a wonderful era, and, for me, this image shows so much dominance, strength, resolve everything that the Paralympics was. ( As told to Harriet Gibsone )

Battle
Battle of Cable Street, Aldgate, London, 5 October 1936. An anti-fascist gathering, some of them carrying missiles, run from a roadblock they have made near Aldgate. The police are accusing on the far side of the barricade, which has been reinforced with paving stones. Photo: Patrimony Likeness/ Getty Images

Battle of Cable Street, 5 October 1936

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London

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

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

This was a historic turning point, a succes that had lasting repercussions because it showed that fascism “couldve been” defied through parishes coalescing something that should continue to invigorate us.

Last October, the 80 th commemoration of Cable Street, I was proud to join another bloc of politicians, the Jewish community, trade unions, anti-racist organisations, Bangladeshi associations and many others , is not simply to honour and recollect the gallant people who fought against autocracy in 1936, but to show our commitment and resolve to continue that engage. To articulate: where reference is check concepts that are divisive, go against our British importances and are just fundamentally wrong, we must call them out; well never let autocracy, intolerance or prejudice prevail. These are ethics that ring true in London, more than anywhere in 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 visualize is that you have an iconic British effigy alongside a word on equal opportunities. There were a quantities of signeds at the womens march in London its become really popular to get innovative with them.

There has been a bent within history in general for women to be small, to cross their leg and touch their “hairs-breadth”. Even in the music manufacture, humen have tried to quieten me down and package me differently. Now women want to express themselves and be a part of things. Its about grouped together to stand up for cases we believe in, and being intersectional in our feminism. This poster has such a powerful letter its unapologetic, its fierce. Its not going to be tamed by anybody. Nobodys going to tell a lion to shut up theyd be feed!

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

Richard
A Line Shaped by Walking, 1967 Photograph: Richard Long. All Claim Reserved, DACS 2017

A Line Shaped By Walking, 1967

Nadav Kander, photographer

I could really envisage having this photograph in my home and it symbolizing different things to me at different moments in “peoples lives”. Its a draw thats so mature. Before you understand what it illustrates, its such a nourishing, simple-minded likenes. Then, when you read that this was a line that Richard Long made himself, by moving up and down, up and down theres something so metaphorical and subtle about it.

I love photography in which the creator can be seen in the persona. Long has entered his own pressing on countries around the world and the way he occupies his smothers with this photograph. That act of making art is beautiful to me; it ever attains me fantastically happy.

I first 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 print Richards work. For me, this image is just a Matisse drawing of a appearance, where the charcoal-grey hasnt been lifted from the paper and hitherto you feel as if you are able to know the girl depicted. Its that kind of elegance and prowess that I love.

Sometimes, when an master occurs in their skill, I find it improbably heavy-handed its so evident, like an interior design periodical. But with Longs work is featherlight and nuanced. The being 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 head of government summit at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels. The Financial Meter use this photo following the end of Brexit. Image: Wiktor Dabkowski/ eyevine

Jeanette Winterson, scribe

This photograph though taken in 2015 was on the front cros of the Financial Times immediately after Brexit. Theres David Cameron, the legalised gambler, betting Britain on the roulette wheel, confident the pellet would rotate calmly back to black. Instead, the economic austerity measures that drove the UK deeper and deeper into the ruby-red made certain that the play itself would end on ruby-red. Red alert. Red faces. The reptilian intelligence of the Tory party satisfied they had been allowed to bet the country on a deluded dream of an island territory. And those inexpensive forgeries, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, stimulating to an outcome that would work in the services offered of their personal ambition.

That nauseating darknes, as the roulette wheel braked, the weigh was in, and the UK was out of Europe. Cameron and George Osborne never believed it could happen. Arrogant classy sons out of contact with the miseries its own policy had wrought. No plan for what would does happen. Cameron vacated. I believe he thought that was noble. He should have been was necessary to clean up his own mess. Not hanging in there to manufacture millions.

But he hadnt “losing ones” coin, or his house, or his future. He saved that for the little people. The people his government had been gambling with all along. Abruptly there was a chance for the little parties to revolve the rotate. No one “ve told them” that once again they could only lose.

The final escapade 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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