Home Front

Derek Bishton, Author Random House (UK) $0 (158p) ISBN 978-0-224-02255-2
Between 1980 and 1984, freelance photographers Bishton and Reardon traveled frequently to Handsworth, a district of Birmingham, England, where many Britons of African, Asian and Caribbean descent live. Their 160 photographs reproduced here are intended to fight stereotypes about these minority peoples. We see Jamaicans playing cricket, Punjabi children learning their native tongue, Vietnamese celebrating the New Year. At the same time, some of the photos are harsh: police and crowds confronting one another, bloodied heads. The superb introduction by novelist Rushdie, an Indian who lives in Britain, explores how images perpetuate stereotypes. He notes: ""Through images we sometimes seek to subjugate and dominate others. But picture-making, imagining, can also be a process of celebration, even of liberation. New images can chase out the old.'' The authors' text, sadly, is disappointing, particularly because their impressionistic style inadequately explains issues and eventsperipheral to the photographsthat they themselves introduce. (March)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
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