Events

Rock Against Racism
Artist’s Talk with Syd Shelton

Sat 5 Dec, 2 - 3pm

Rivington Place

London, UK

Free event, no booking necessary

Join us for an informal artist's talk with Syd Shelton, whose Rock Against Racism photographs feature in our current exhibition and new book.

Shelton’s photographs captured one of the most intriguing and contradictory political periods in British post war history. Between 1976 and 1981, the movement Rock Against Racism (RAR) confronted racist ideology in the streets, parks and town halls of Britain. RAR was formed by a collective of musicians and political activists to fight fascism and racism through music.

His photographs document the volatility of a country divided across race, class and gender. They expose the ferocity of cultural difference being hammered out on Britain’s streets through the late 1970s, at a time when racist skinheads danced to Jamaican ska, punks embraced reggae and black kids reached out to punk. Shelton photographed performers such as The Clash, Elvis Costello, Misty in Roots, Tom Robinson, Au Pairs and The Specials as well as the audiences at RAR gigs and carnivals across England. He captured the history-making RAR Carnival 1 at Victoria Park, London in 1978, and demonstrations such as the Anti National Front Demonstration in Lewisham in 1977. Shelton also took contextual social and cultural images that informed the politics of the movement across England and Ireland.

RAR did not have an official photographer and Shelton has produced the largest collection of images on the movement. He says of the period: ‘Photography for me has always been an autobiographical tool, a sort of staccato visual diary….I also used my photography during that period as a graphic argument, enabling me to be a subjective witness of the period which could, hopefully, contribute to social change ….

Read more about the exhibition >

Purchase the Rock Against Racism book >

Part of the exhibition

Syd Shelton
Rock Against Racism

2 October - 5 December 2015

Rivington Place, London

Read more »

About Syd Shelton

Syd Shelton is a British photographer and graphic designer. He has worked in Europe, Australia and the United States. He co-edited and was art director of a series of photographic books: 24 Hours in Los Angeles (1984), the award winning Day in the Life of London (1984) and Ireland: A Week in the Life of a Nation (1986). His work was recently included in the exhibition Words, Sound and Power: Reggae Changed My Life at The British Music Experience: Britain’s Museum of Popular Music, O2 Arena, London (2012) and The Photographer’s Gallery exhibition The World in London.

Additional Info

Venue
Rivington Place
London
EC2A 3BA

T: info@rivingtonplace.org
P: 0207 749 1240

Rivington Place is fully accessible. Disabled parking bays are available, please call in advance to reserve.