Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Building a better world

The post-war period was not so much a time of reconstruction and return to the pre-war status quo as one of change, idealism and looking to the future, in terms of both the physical and the sociopolitical environment - and photographers were on hand to document it.

In the UK, there was an urgent demand for new housing, of course, but also for new cultural spaces and places of worship - and an acknowledgement that the nation's transport and energy infrastructures needed to be modernised. The construction company Laing were responsible for a host of significant projects, as illustrated by the fascinating pictures taken from their archives and recently made publicly available by Historic England.

Across the Atlantic, meanwhile, change was also afoot in the form of the burgeoning civil rights movement. Rather than shooting the headline-grabbing protests and unrest, Doris Derby instead chose to focus her lens on the ordinary people dedicated to the cause who took up various roles - as nurses, as teachers, as grassroots organisers, as members of cooperatives - to contribute to the construction of a brighter future for generations of African Americans.

No comments: