photographic index

ba digital photography london south bank university

this was england

The newspaper The Observer carries this weekend a 3 page photo-illustrated article on british skinheads, as a prologue to the new film and exhibition This is england opening in April in London. Simon Garfield in Getting under their skins writes about the work of Gavin Watson (photographer) and Shane Meadows (film-maker) with detailed descriptions of the visual and musical styles and the intersection with the social upheavel of the 80s: “For a while in the late Sixties and early Eighties, Britain fostered a youth cult so iconic in its imagery, and so threatening in its pose, that we remain ashamed of it decades later. Steel-capped boots and jeans with back pockets shaped by sharpened metal combs: that was the look, all aggravation and bristle, the terror at station platforms and football terraces and corner shops. Fashion is about many things – money, humiliation, fitting in and sticking out – but until skinheads showed up it was rarely about menace.”

Exhibition Gavin watson’s This was england, PYMCA Gallery
10-20 April
Address: 43 Clerkenwell Road London EC1M 5RS
See his photos online at:
the pymca archive

Screening Shane Meadows’ This is england, opening April 27
see the trailer on youtube

more info on myspace
and a special ITV’s The South Bank Show on the 27th May


Filed under: field trip, gavin watson, PYMCA, shane meadows, skinheads, this is england, youth cultures

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