Another Country: British Documentary Photography Since 1945

Thames & Hudson. Jul. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780500022177. $65. PHOTOGRAPHY
By the early 20th century, British photography seemed to be resting on its laurels, with an entrenched establishment clinging to a conservative pictorialist style and little room for innovation. That—as this exhilarating title shows—would dramatically change beginning in the 1930s as an expanded definition of documentary style emerged. Through lengthy essays on broad trends and shorter notes on individual photographs, photographer/art critic Badger collaborates again with photographer Martin Parr (with whom he wrote The Photobook: A History, vols. 1–3), with contributions by 10 additional writers, critics, and curators, who explore the work of hundreds of practitioners across seven decades, encompassing techniques that include street photography, photomontage, art photography, photo-text, and the photobook format. Integral to this history are the sweeping changes in postwar British society—collapse of empire, the migration of Black British persons from colonies and former colonies; the impact of the Thatcher years—and the strategies photographers used, brilliantly and creatively, to record those changes. Includes over 250 color and black-and-white photographs by more than 160 photographers, notes, a bibliography, and index.
VERDICT Those interested in documentary photo trends encompassing the UK and beyond will value this title.
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