In all honesty I hadn’t even considered this before Martin Parr had said it, and I’m not sure whether I even should have.
His words rung true and the more I thought about them, London became an interchangeable term for just about any large city in the western world I had visited. For how can we expect one single body of work to perfectly capture the essence of the location they document? How can we even expect it to document the large amount of ground they cover and depict the many different cultures they house?
Questions starting ringing around in my head, none more important than what is the real London, or the real New York or Paris? Was the presentation of these cities I’d been exposed to based around tourist expectations or some sort of travel propoganda? Does the true identity of the city only become revealed to one of their own? London only really visible in the eyes of a Londoner?
I don’t know and I don’t think this is something we’ll ever really be able to answer as it’s so subjective.
But this doesn’t stop us from exploring some of the amazing for being produced in London and speaking to the photographers who produce it to hear their thoughts on Parr’s belief that despite the revival of Street Photography in recent years “there is no real ultimate body of work on the streets of London”.
I’m hoping this will mark the start of a series of posts, interviews and features exploring London street photography, but more importantly that it ignites the discussion. And you’ll be able to use the London Street Photography category to browse the articles on this topic.
So I’d love to hear what your favorite street photography work on London is? Whether you think there is one? Whether it’s important there should there be one? And whether there could ever be one?