Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Riots, punks and reggae music

So it's late. Just got home from the G20 protest in London. Tommi and i thought it would be a good idea to check it out and so we did. It was an interesting experience most certainly - taking into account that i have never seen a 40 meter long wall of police move towards me. Still fun.

One thing that fascinated me throughout the day was people throwing beer bottles, glass bottles that is, at the police. We were shut off from all angles, trying to shoot as much as possible and having to deal with the idiocy that most people perceived as normal - thus, there were NO SHOPS TO BUY ANYTHING. No food, no drinks, nothing. Still, people seemed to find empty beer bottles to either throw in the police, or piss in first and then throw in the police. Then run like hell screaming "We want peace"

There was reggae music all day, which seemed to calm some of the people down, frantically dancing and being occupied. Needless to say the area smelled like weed but police didn't seem to mind.

The only actually interesting times were those when the line of police would charge, point at which all the brave protesters would run as fast as possible. In one of those i was in the wrong place and managed to get a baton over my thigh. Looks like traces from a Yorkie. But more towards the purple than blue...ish.

The thing that actually bugged me were the photographers. The nice thing was that there was a representative from all possible camera shapes and sizes known to man. There was even a guy with a large format range finder, those that look like cathodic tubes. But most of them, seemed to be working for The Sun. I don't know what's wrong with them. They would all go in the same place and shoot the same thing. It was dumb. I felt stupid going where everyone who had a camera already was, and snapping the same frames. It's stupid and uncreative.

The interesting things about this is that i started to look back on my press years. And on the train back, i started to question whether i was one of them back then. I kept trying to convince myself that i wasn't but somehow there will always be this doubt. I tried to look around, catch people, not events that sell newspapers. Those have long ceased to interest me. I worked on a series of portraits which seemed fascinating at the time, which i'll probably put up tomorrow. But also i tried to shoot the events, how people behave and what they did. Not in a press way, but in a ... documentary kind of way. Trying to detach from all i used to know. Trying to, incredibly, follow Chris Coekin's advice on trying to shoot in a fresh way.

Enough bla ba for one day. Will process and upload both series tomorrow to get some feedback for whoever is reading this non-sense.