Disunited Kingdom

The angst about Brexit continues. The struggle to make sense what the hell is going on is becoming a little too much to bear. I was in Parliament Square in September taking pics on the day that the MPs took control of the agenda, just before they forced several defeats on the new PM.

As usual there was a selection of amusing and scatty posters with just a minimum of argy bargy between for and against.

Thoughts on migrants crossing the channel

The Jungle Calais

It is reported on the BBC that there has been a sudden upsurge in the last couple of weeks of migrants attempting to cross the channel in small dinghies. This has been deplored and with the channel being the world’s busiest waterway, it is extremely dangerous.

Dunkirk Migrant Camp

Why are they trying to cross the channel in the first place? The report that I heard on the radio seems to point to the migrants fearing that once Brexit comes in to force then it will be impossible to cross the channel.

These reports have avoiding, what, I think is one of the key reasons for chancing the crossing.

It is utterly utterly horrible in the camps. The squalor has to be seen and smelt to be believed. You can read my reports of what the situation in the migrant camps is like here and here.

I can’t replicate the smell, but I can show you what I have seen.

I hope that it will spark some sympathy for those in the camps and hopefully some action some where. Please look at the pictures, share them and talk about the reasons why people want to flee to England.

Part of the shanty town in the jungle

The Jungle Calais

Toilet area in the Jungle – The smell was appalling

The Jungle Calais

Green Slime – The Jungle

The Jungle Calais

You can see all the pics that I took in the jungle here

This is a stress free area – Oh the irony – Dunkirk Migrant Camp

Dunkirk Migrant Camp

Hopeless and aimless feet – Migrant Camp Dunkirk

Dunkirk Migrant Camp

Rubbish creates pest – Migrant Camp Dunkirk

Dunkirk Migrant Camp

Hopefully Hopeless – Dunkirk Migrant Camp

Dunkirk Migrant Camp

You can see the whole set of Dunkirk pictures here

And now for something different – again Vaginas

I went to Brighton recently to take pictures of the amazing Beside Ourselves Collective perform their searing play about female sexuality and the church, Just Don’t Do It. I have shot the play a number of times before and each time I see it, it gets better.

The play centres around a number of vagina puppets, which I haven’t shown in this set of pictures.

If you get the chance go and see them.

Beside Ourselves Collective Beside Ourselves Collective

Beside Ourselves Collective

In the Street – I too am human

I was recently in Austin, the capital of Texas. It is a fantastic place with stark contrasts of wealth and poverty sitting check by jowl with each other. I tried to record the remarkable colour of the city, but also tried to capture the faces of the men, and it was mainly men, living on the street.

I made a film about the migrant camp in Calais, which I titled ‘I too am human‘ and I am recycling the title for these two photos. Terri and Rici, the names of the two men I photographed are not street people, they are people.

I hope that these pictures show that they can say with total justification ‘I too am human’

Terri

Austin 18

Rici

Austin 18

Putin Has Form

This week Russia was named as the state agent responsible for the attempted assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33 in Salisbury.

But, this is not the first time that Putin has made incursions into the affairs of other states, and I was reminded of some photos that I took at the Saint Volodymyr statue in Holland Park following the Russian annexation of the Crimea.

St Volodymyr Holland Park

This self made poster compares Putin to Hitler. Its a bit rough and ready and the picture represents probably the most incendiary insult that you can make to a Russian. It would be the equivalent of calling Mrs May a pedophile. The hand written text says “Putin Kaput” in Cyrillic, which echos the graffiti that Soviet Soldiers  scribbled on the Reichstag when they invaded Berlin.

The link, according to the poster is clear: Putin is the modern Hitler.

St Volodymyr Holland Park

This poster, in English, makes the same point, Putin is a fascist akin to Hitler.

It also links to another point, single posters don’t change the world unless the powers that be decide to resist, affect or remove the problem.

St Volodymyr Holland Park

The posters were made in 2014 and now in 2018 Putin has just got stronger and bolder – sound like anyone else we know from the last 100 years? They were placed around the statue of Saint Volodymyr, who was the saint who brought Christianity to Russia when he arrived in Kiev, now in the Ukraine and baptised people in the rive Denipr.

The statue was raised in 1988 to celebrate 1,000 years since Saint Volodymyr’s Christianisation of Rus. In 1988 I was in the Soviet Union, in Kiev, it was a time of hope and freedom where the USSR was liberalising and opening itself up to democracy.

The posters from 4 years ago, seem to show that in the 30 years since the statue was raised, Russia has gone from dictatorship to chaos to wobbley democracy to dictatorship by oligarchy.  Putin has been compared to Hitler and seems to following the same path – where will his ambitions end and what will we have been through in another 30 years?