In 2009 I started work on my first photo eBook Conflicted: London’s Faces of Protest. Written as a journal, it would go on to bear witness to both outrage and acts of restraint later in that coming year.
In eight chapters – one for each protest – Conflicted covered the landmark London demonstrations of 2008 and 2009. Its photographs showed the fury resulting from the Israeli bombardment of Palestine (Gaza and Stop the War), grief over terror attacks in India (Mumbai), opposition to media harassment (Section 76), outrage at atrocities in the DRC (Congo), anger at the controversial ‘kettling’ of anti-capitalist protesters (G20: Day), night time confrontations with police in Bishopsgate (G20: Night) and shock at the concentration camps in Sri Lanka (Tamils).
The format of Conflicted is simple: each chapter of the book is prefaced by a diary entry to set the scene whilst the individually captioned photographs give added detail and insight into each protest. What follows is a sample from the book describing the scene at a vigil for the 164 victims of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks:
“… A friend asks if I want to go down to the Indian High Commission tonight. A handful of his friends are lighting candles in memory of those killed in the Mumbai attacks of November 2008. They’ve put it up on Facebook.Forty-five minutes later, over three hundred bodies have massed around a tiny candle-lit shrine of damp photocopies and snapshots. Police appear at the fringes. The Facebook generation has arrived. This isn’t a protest, it’s a memorial. Most people sit, some stand. All heads are bowed. Sheltering candles from the wind, the crowd listens as those who were at Mumbai step forward and share their stories. This mustn’t happen again. No matter what. It’s a constant, urgent theme. The ‘how’ hangs awkwardly in the air. Fortunately, blame doesn’t mix with grief tonight. It’s all too close, too soon, too fresh in people’s memories. They’re still grieving for those that they’ve lost… “
If you would like to download a free sample or buy a copy it is available here through Apple iTunes.
Published: May 19, 2011
Display Orientation: Portrait
Adjustable Text Size
Age Range: 12+