Ian Berry | The English. An elderly woman plays cricket with her family on the beach. Whitby, England. 1974. © Ian Berry | Magnum Photos
Ian Berry’s 1978 book sees him return to his homeland after many years abroad to both document and rediscover the English way of life…After a decade of travelling and living in Africa and then Paris, Magnum photographer Ian Berry conceived of The English as a project that would enable him to both document and rediscover the country in which he was born and grew up. “It seemed like a good idea to do something on the English before my eyes got too jaded,” Berry remembers whilst speaking to us about the project today. Returning to London in the mid-Sixties to become the first contract photographer for the Observer, he received a commission from the Whitechapel Gallery in 1972 to photograph the local area. His images capture the unique character of the East End and the diversity of its residents, both well-established and recent arrivals.
This is the England I remember from my childhood.