Le discours des autres
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Shortlisted for the First Photobook Award, Paris Photo - Aperture Foundation 2022
Publication date : 2022/04/01
Weight 950 g / Dimensions 24.5 x 31 cm / 134 pages
BANK TOP is a collaboration with writer, poet & social researcher Abdul Aziz Hafiz, examining the representation & misrepresentation of northern communities. The work focuses on a small, tight-knit community in Blackburn, England, a town that has become synonymous with the use of words like segregation (BBC Panorama described it as ‘the most segregated town in Britain’) & integration (Casey Review to the UK Government).
Hafiz writes: “the work is a response to this simplistic representation and the callous use of language by policymakers and the media when they try to explain the challenges faced by such neighbourhoods and towns and resets the experience of these communities in the context of Government industrial/social policy and contemporary and colonial British foreign policy.”
The black and white photographs in the book were all made in an area less than half a mile square in Blackburn during 2019 and 2020. Working with a large-format wooden field camera, Easton spent long days and weeks in the neighbourhood making pictures and talking to residents—some of their testimonies are incorporated into the book. This long-form collaboration, which melds images and text, acknowledges the issues and impacts of social deprivation, housing, unemployment, immigration and representation, as well as past and present foreign policy. The result is a collective and nuanced portrait of the town — a sensitive response to the distorted representation of such communities in both the media and by government, which deny the right of Bank Top to tell its own story.