Self Portrait: The Sense of Self in British Documentary Photography
This article investigates notions of 'Britishness' as articulated in British documentary photography from 1936 to 1989. It argues that documentary photography is richly revealing of not only its overt subject matter, but also, more interestingly, of the latent cultural attitudes encoded therein. Particular attention is paid to the work of Bill Brandt in comparison with British documentary photographers of the 1980s. This latter group provide both a contrasting and, it is contended, more dependable sense of 'Britishness' than their more celebrated predecessor.