England 70'-80' / "Street Photography" by Gil Rigoulet
In the 70s and 80s, heading to England meant a ferry ride across the Channel. There was no Channel Tunnel back then. Ferries were often chock-a-block. Food trays topped with fish and chips, duty-free liquor...rocked by a festive ambiance, all made for a quick crossing. Occasionally, seasickness forced everyone to the ship's rail where the smartest among us quickly assessed the direction of the wind.
I was 20 years old. Great Britain’s attraction for me was that of a remote planet. Its streets were like a showcase where I would plunge in with my camera without restraint. I took pictures for myself. I would fine-tune my gaze; look for the right distance, the right moment. I was looking for words, for a language that could describe such exotic Anglo-Saxon society...
I made this pilgrimage every year, up until the end of the 80s. These images sat in my archives for thirty years but they are the very foundation of my work as a photo reporter. They allowed me to shape my eye, to assert my photography, to open a dialogue about life with humour and compassion and to get a glimpse at where the rituals of these societies would lead us to...
I look at these images with joy and feel once again the wind of freedom that used to blow through my head and through that entire era.
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