Saturday 18 December 2021

On Photographing the Far Right

In 1977, Chris Steele-Perkins photographed the "Battle of Lewisham", i.e. members of the far right National Front planning to march to London's city centre, the 4.000 counter-protestors and many police officers.

Steele-Perkins kept photographing the far right supporters in the following decades... shaved heads, White Power t-shirts and Nazi salutes. However, they only tell part of the story, as he points out:

"The far right is depicted in photographs as the burly boys because it's easy to do it that way. Skinheads shouting perhaps looks more intimindating than people with long hair shouting."

“The real problem is the people who don’t talk – the political classes behind it are really to blame. The others are just foot soldiers, some of whom are not too bright and just want to get into a rumble. […] This is where photography and representation have a problem, The message is maybe not carried in the picture in same way [if it doesn’t show a skinhead].” 

photographs by Chris Steele-Perkins via


  1. Replies
    1. Indeed...
      I find it quite irritating that today they look so much more mainstream.