I have been photographing the madness of Britain in a informal way for years, however, I did not acknowledge this common theme formally until 2016.
The state of Britain project was intended to be a study of Americanisation within the UK, however ,The result of the Brexit referendum signaled to me that Britain was about to change more significantly , Britain was about to exchange its liberal European past for a survival of the fittest ”Wild West” culture .
The State Of Britain series uses scenes from everyday life to give visual insights into British identity, aspirations and political confusion !
Is the rejection of The European ethos connected to the adoption of “The American Dream2 ?
Weak leadership combined with policies of Austerity have created a country that is divided socially, economically and geographically , those in the North of England , Scotland And Wales feel forgotten , as the affluent middle class in South East England appear to enjoy disproportionate benefits of Tory government policies . Britain is more unequal today than ever, as rough sleeping and food-bank use hit record levels.
Desperate for change the people of the UK voted to unravel themselves from the European Super State, citing unchecked immigration as a key motivator ! At the same time a swing to right wing politics in the U.S raised concerns in the UK ! Was “The American Dream” losing its shine ! A global breakdown of political trust & integrity was growing, as people felt uneasy and unrepresented by current models of “democracy” a Hollywood style happy ending was looking unlikely !
The adoption of Americana within the UK appeared to have encouraged a rejection of European values in favor of a selective, optimistic form of globalisation, based on Americanisation , although the current US administrations foreign policy might have succeeded in cooling these potentially dangerous aspirations .
This important series of photographs is created against a background of politically driven Austerity, it represents a unprecedented period in British political and social history.
The State Of Britain series is still in progress and is awaiting the closing chapters of the Brexit story to reveal themselves ?
The pictures in this series are personal reflections of my life during the Brexit years .
Work from this series has been recognised by Lensculture in the 2017 Street Photography Awards (Finalist) and The 2018 Alghero Street Photography Awards (Winner) . More than 100 works have been created for this series to date.
About David Barrett
David Barrett is a formally educated photographer who grew up alongside a skyline of shipbuilding cranes in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, his work is influenced by the British social documentary tradition to which he was exposed during his teenage years through exhibitions at the city’s renowned Side Gallery. Local practitioners of this time such as Sirkka-Lissa Konttinen, Chris Killip & Jimmy Forsyth helped him see how his everyday environment looked when photographed.
David’s recent work consists of self-directed projects that are characterised by social awareness, strong design skills and a acute visiual wit. ! With social media currently saturated with “me too” street photography, David’s work shows that there is plenty of scope for innovative contemporary street photography.. .. [Official Website]