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How I assure Britain: photo 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 shots that sum up Britishness for them

A stunning miner, Orgreave, 1984

Luke Wright, poet

This rich, beautiful photo by Don McPhee substantiates impressing miner( Impressing? Hes absolutely elegant !) George Geordie Brealey( claim) and policeman Paul Castle( far left) at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. What followed, known as the Battle of Orgreave, was one of the most violent skirmishes in recent British civil record, 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 comic with police officers on the picket line. Wearing a childs bobbies helmet, he would pretend to inspect the lines. Here is one being, 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 splits of contemporary Britain. Orgreave distinguished a important 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 part back to a moment like this.

The Boy With the Flag, 1970 Photograph: 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 property on our shores on the Windrush in 1948. My parents was already in the Windrush generation, so this photo has a particular keennes for me. Long before Linford Christie or Jessica Ennis acquired gold medals for Britain and wrap themselves in the British pennant, these young men and women began to identify with the two countries that was their alone home.

Of course, this was the beginning of a bittersweet stage for ethnic minorities in Britain: Enoch Powell, unfriendly police sus rules, failing schools and the rising discord of inner-city life for immigrant communities. But the committee is also captures birth certificates of multicultural Britain and show a feel of hope and opportunity. This generation of ethnic minorities would go on to realize 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 power plant, Oxfordshire, UK, 27 July 2014. Photograph: ajsissues/ Alamy Stock Photo

Joan Bakewell, broadcaster

I loved these chilling towers at Didcot in Oxfordshire[ which were swallowed in July 2014] they were concepts of real beautiful. Whenever I passed on the instruct, I would put down my journal to experience them. They had enormous sweeping curves and in all weathers turned a different face to the world. We retain windmills and steam develops, so why not these?

There is something poignant about the death of constructs: industrial ones signal the be removed from one period of technology to another. Their destruction tags the occur of epoch, of one way of looking and being into another that we cant hitherto imagine. The time when they fall to the floor markers a moment in history extended for ever. No amaze beings gaze in surprise when that happens.

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

VE festivities, 8 May 1945

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

This photograph captivates the delight of one of the most important minutes of the 20 th century the succes over fascism in 1945. It also symbolises the enormous steps become for gender equality during the second world war. Wives participated previously all-male professions: without their struggle attempt, we might not have triumphed over nazism.

The second world war was Britain at its excellent. It was the peoples of the territories battle, where “citizens ” proved mettle and sacrifice beyond our modern imageries. It proved that regime intervention and a socialised economy can work.

Privilege and profiteering were seen shameful. The common good came firstly. People of all categorizes, hastens and people united to defend Britain against the Nazis. We welcomed refugees and allied with subjugated Europeans. The need for a fairer, more equal society was the social consensus.

The wartime Common Wealth defendant was the equivalent of the anti-Tory confederation we need today: it joined progressives, radicals and independents. Well to the left of Jeremy Corbyn, it made revolutionary policies favourite and triumphed wartime byelections.

Social justice had mass appeal in the second world war. The beings required, and later achieved, public ownership of major industries and the creation of the NHS and social security. They prevailed social justice in 1945. Why cant we acquire it now?

British politician Nigel Farage converges 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, generator

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 reveries. The American gets to run the world. The Englishman goes nothing but the heartbreaking atonement of playing tribunal fool to the American, in this new world order he has undeniably helped bring about. The dispirited and defeated former aristocrats of labour in the post-industrial American and UK barrens, their unions crushed, their wages lowered, subdued by 30 years of neoliberalism, get two prosperous humanities posing outside a gold promote. 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 ascendancy of the 1 %. This image represents the official coronation of the brand-new toytown monarches and their hapless marionettes, and the rubber-stamping of medieval, authoritarian politics in a hi-tech nature.

Miner at his evening dinner, 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 combination styles from art and photojournalism. As a stranger, he raised a disinterested, outsiders perspective, claiming that he wasnt making a political phase, but his representations have become the defining personas of the Great Depression.

Brandt also wanted to making his highly stylised approach to photograph sturdy descriptions of the people who lived and run in these industrial parishes like this shot Brandts most celebrated photo from his northern pilgrimage take place within 1937, of a Northumbrian miner eating his tea, watched over by his wife.

Although for me there is a sense that Brandt has carefully posed this image, leading the characters and organizing the move, does this detract from the ability of the epitome? Brandts northern wield never constructed him coin and was published only later. But what he had achieved with these pictures was an unprecedented grouped together of styles to create a striking and colors imagination 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 new publication that photographed all aspects of British life. On 1 October 1938, the Picture Post was propelled, a weekly periodical fitted with photographs on every sheet, its mission affirmation to make a visual chronicle of British people at home, at work and at performance.

David Weir, Paralympic Games, 2012

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

Melanie C, vocalist

This shot is incredible. David Weir with his logo wail is on the line in his succes pose, arms spread wide-cut and his competitors blurred in the background. We have celebrated Olympic players for a long time, but certainly the people who are achieving extraordinary concepts against the odds are our Paralympians, who for so long were overlooked.

When it came to people with disabilities, I used to feel unsure about the etiquette, but the most difficult circumstance that we gained from 2012 s Paralympics was the way it changed outlooks in general. It was a really special period and it altered people views for ever. Weir retained claims. He won the marathon. He prevailed four goldens in 2012.

Britain has a reputation for being a bit negative, a bit pessimistic. But that summer we pictured the world how to do it. Everyone pulled together and it was a positive time to be in London. This image, along with so many others, reminded participants of a year in which I felt very lucky to live in the capital. It was a wonderful hour, and, for me, this image shows so much better dominance, persuasivenes, tenacity everything that the Paralympics was. ( As told to Harriet Gibsone )

Battle of Cable Street, Aldgate, London, 5 October 1936. An anti-fascist audience, some of them carrying weapons, run from a roadblock they have erected near Aldgate. The police are accusing on the far side of the barricade, which has been reinforced with paving stones. Image: Heritage Portrait/ 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 fearless boys, women and children gathered to oppose dictatorship in what became known as the Battle of Cable Street.

That day, Mosleys tyrants were forcing them a humiliating retreat something achieved only through the capability of people and communities coming together. A bloc was organize of Jewish East Enders, Irish dockworkers, trade unionists, Labour party members and many more coming together in solidarity to accept autocracy and everything associated with it.

This was a historic important turning point, a succes that had lasting repercussions because it showed that autocracy is likely to be withstood through communities consolidating something that should continue to invigorate us.

Last October, the 80 th commemoration of Cable Street, I was proud to join another organization of legislators, the Jewish parish , trade unions, anti-racist organisations, Bangladeshi associations and many others , not only to honour and recollect the gallant people who fought against autocracy in 1936, but to show our commitment and resolve to sustain that battle. To say: where reference is ascertain things that are divisive, go against our British ethics and are just basically wrong, we must call them out; well never make dictatorship, intolerance or racism reign. These are ethics that ring true in London, more than anywhere in the world.

Womens March, London, 21 January 2017

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

Kate Nash, singer

Whats so cool about this drawing is that you have an iconic British bronze alongside a message on gender equality. There were a consignments of clues at the womens parade in London its become really popular to get innovative with them.

There has been a propensity within history in general for women to be small, to cross their leg and touch their whisker. Even in the music industry, servicemen have tried to quieten me down and pack me differently. Now ladies want to express themselves and be a part of things. Its about coming together to stand up for causes we believe in, and being intersectional in our feminism. This posting has such a strong word its unapologetic, its ferociou. Its not going to be tamed by anybody. Nobodys going to tell a lion to shut the fuck up theyd be dined!

It searches as if someone has left this posting there at the end of the marching. It is a piece of art it obstructs on telling a story even when youve got on the Tube and gone home. ( As told to Leah Harper )

A Line Realized by Walking, 1967 Picture: Richard Long. All Right Reserved, DACS 2017

A Line Realise By Walking, 1967

Nadav Kander, photographer

I could really thoughts having this photograph in my house and it symbolizing different things to me at different moments in my life. Its a video thats so full-grown. Before you understand what it illustrates, its such a nourish, simple portrait. Then, when “youre reading” that this was a line that Richard Long caused himself, by sauntering up and down, up and down theres something so metaphorical and subtle about it.

I love photography in which the master can be seen in the persona. Long has recorded his own pressing on the planet and the course he inhabits his circumvents with this photograph. That play of making art is beautiful to me; it always does 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 publication Richards work. For me, this image is like a Matisse drawing of a face, where the charcoal hasnt been lifted from the working papers and hitherto you feel as if you might know the girl illustrated. Its that kind of goody and prowess that I love.

Sometimes, when an creator intervenes in their skill, I find it improbably heavy-handed its so evident, like an interior design publication. But with Longs work is featherlight and nuanced. The person behind the persona ever 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 Cameron at the European the heads of state and government and governments top at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels. The Financial Hour exploited this photograph following the end of Brexit. Picture: Wiktor Dabkowski/ eyevine

Jeanette Winterson, columnist

This photograph though take place within 2015 was on the front cover-up of the Financial Times immediately after Brexit. Theres David Cameron, the legalised speculator, potting Britain on the roulette wheel, confident the dance would revolve quietly back to black. Instead, the economic austerity measures that drove the UK deeper and deeper into the blood-red made certain that the play itself would end on blood-red. Red alert. Red faces. The reptilian psyche of the Tory party revelled 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 repelling night, as the roulette wheel slackened, 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 contact with the miseries its own policy had functioned. No plan for what would does happen. Cameron abdicated. I believe he thought that was noble. He should have been forced to clean up his own mess. Not hanging in there to do millions.

But he hadnt lost his money, or his house, or his future. He saved that for the little parties. The people his government had been gambling with all along. Unexpectedly there was a chance for the little people to spin the pedal. No one told them that once again they could only lose.

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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