Title: Peace moves, nuclear protest in the 1980s
Photographer(s): Ed Barber
Writer(s): Zoë Fairbairns, James Cameron
Publisher(s): Chatto & Windus, London, England
Size: 19,5 x 22,5 cm
Print: Butler & Tanner Ltd, Frome, Sommerset, Great Britain
Nation(s) and year(s) of Protest: England,1980
The first four years of the 1980s was a remarkable time on many fronts; Thatcher dominated the political landscape, opposition to her government spilled out of Westminster and into left-wing music, novels, poetry and art. It was a divisive, charged period in which allegiances were formed into new, radical movements and the young became engaged in the way their parents trailblazed in the 1960s. Barber captured these times and the people who took part, his book is full of mesmerizing images of a public rising up in protest, it knew no age limit, class or creed. Misguided? possibly, engaged? most definitely and this book captures the key moments in the Peace Movement’s activities.
The proliferation of such weapons has longed given me cause to consider, given the untold devastation a single bomb can cause is it not right to question the billions spent on having more than a country could ever need? Fairbanks and the subjects of Barber’s book certainly did, and look at those subjects, particularly the young people whose very existence depended on the sensibilities of world leaders. They make for fascinating photographs of Barber’s; young, determined and angry, wearing their beliefs quite literally on their sleeves, these images embody that period brilliantly. It’s two fingers to the establishment, pitched battles with the police and a barb wired fence, setting the scene for the miners strikes to come the following year.