Monday, 23 February 2009

A bit harsh?

Last week in Balham: a police officer on his way to ask me not to photograph...the friend of a victim who got hit by a train - fair enough. © Magnus Andersson

I might have been a bit harsh in my language in the previous post on the police, of course not all police are bad, but there is a certain kind, and those were the intended target. Anyway, my colleague Hannah was recently handcuffed and led away from a crime scene and initiated a police complaint. The police wondered if it would be better if she came in and gave their new recruits a little talk on what its like from our side. Great idea! She was down there today, I haven't had time to hear back from her yet, but dialogue usually sorts most problems.

The view from the 20th floor in Draper House. © Magnus Andersson

The other day I had to walk 20 flights of stairs up a tower block where the lifts had broken down over 40 times in the last two months. I must say I was pretty knackered with a full kit on my back and the flash kit in my hand - I had to stop three times on the way up - but imagine the elderly, or those with little kids in buggies..?!? Prisoners in their own homes.

The view was nice as the sun was setting though...and for those of you who understand Swedish, check this post out from India based Swedish tog Martin von Krogh, hilarious account on how we PJ's scorn the sunset shot, but secretly make lots of money from them! If you don't understand Swedish, let Google translate it for you, well worth it.

Now I'm off to see Fleet Foxes at The Roundhouse in Camden!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

There is power in the union

Union protest outside Lewisham Town Hall in 2006. © Magnus Andersson

Quoting Billy Bragg in a blog header can only mean one thing: strike. I voice my support for the striking colleagues across the UK, and I would like to highlight the situation for The Yorkshire Post in Leeds; I commend The Shakeouts for writing a song which can be heard in this brilliant video from the strike.

Its easy to think that in an economic downturn we all have to fight individually to keep our jobs, but in fact the opposite is true. These owners took out high salaries, enormous profits and big bonuses from our livelihoods, whilst denying us even a pay rise in line with inflation. Year on year our salaries have actually gone down compared to inflation while these few took the fruit of our labour. Now some of us are being told we can't be afforded anymore. How convenient.

If you haven't joined your union yet, the time is now. United we stand, divided we fall.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The making of an exhibition (updated)

Rob adjusts the spotlights in the space in which six photographers will share a space.

But it starts much earlier, long before this pig nose in the snow...

This is me, trying to hacksaw a metal bar, before the security guard with the hungry German Shepherd dog escorted me off the site. I came back though, and collected/liberated the curtains and the other stuff, because this was essential to the exhibition.

The pub in Camberwell in which we exhibited.

Trying hard to make the first attempt of 6 photog's to fit into the same space.

Cutting a long story short...we got it done!

...the exhibit fits!

Time for the publicity photo and how good is this: bona fide rock'nroll star Dan holds my camera!

UPDATE: here's the pic that ran in the paper, which Dan took. Well done, mate! © Dan Frost

Rob, finalising his stuff TWO minutes before opening...

Opening night...

More opening night, its a f**king success!

Closing night, the gang: six photogs minus one...Ben went AWOL: (L-R) Hannah, Tom, John, me and Rob. © Rebecca Honeywell-Ward

Taking it down.

Theo, our biggest fan, showing his support on the closing night.

All images in this post © Magnus Andersson excepept where indicated.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Al Qaeda post

Kids playing in the snow, how innoncent, no? © Magnus Andersson

Ha ha, you police officers are sooo funny. This particular officer was [illegally] forcing a journalist to delete photos of his (dare I say) fully clothed children playing in the SNOW! This says more about this stupid copper than anything else. At least the copper permitted his kids to wear clothes whilst in the snow.

Actually, most police officers that I've met through work are decent, but the one's that give you trouble lack not only judgement, but also proper education and common sense. That's a fact, not merely based on chance encounters. Regular readers will know, sadly.

The number of intelligent officers that I've met can be counted on one hand. They are either CID already, or they have gone private: i.e. been promoted to investigations or are working a security detail somewhere, because as we all know, having a reliable police force in the UK is not really a priority.

Different country, I know, but as Ice Cube, Dr Dre, MC Ren and the late Eazy-E so eloquently put it: Fuck tha police!

The above picture could have made me a criminal, providing the insufficient uneducated off-duty officer would have been at hand, with his winter clad kids. What are the chances??!!?!

To get involved, check this out, and go here on Monday, if you happen to be in the UK. I am sadly working but my colleague Rob Logan has taken a day off work and will be exercising OUR legal right in shooting police officers - via camera - until he drops (or gets arrested/handcuffed/assaulted/shot). Go Rob!

Thank you

Opening night of our exhibition Waiting Rooms at The Bear on Wednesday night. © Magnus Andersson

The opening night of the exhibition was a BIG success, sooo many people came and we had lots of positive feedback on our project, so if you made it, a big thankyouverymuch, and if for some reason you couldn't make it, a longer post on preparations before tonight show will appear hopefully sometime later in the week, with behind-the-scenes pictures, never seen before, oh yes. Now: sleep, tomorrow, another 14h day. Phew.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Quick one

I've been here today...

and here...

And I've been here...

But nevermind, because the exhibition opens tomorrow, and damn, its been hectic up until now, I nearly got arrested. More after the actual opening, because there aint no time left after doing a 14h day for a client.

All images in this post © Magnus Andersson

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Exhibition time

Snowy evening scene outside the Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, encountered earlier today. © Magnus Andersson

Well, another day of snow chaos here in London, and I was again advised to stay at home and wait for the phone to ring as the roads were a lot more icy today than yesterday. In the end I didn't get any calls, so I managed to get an exhibition ready instead! Spent all day processing images and dropping the CD off at the printers. I say it again - snow, brilliant snow.

And for those of you that can make it, opening night will be on Wednesday 11th February next week, 18:00 at The Bear in Camberwell. Photographers Tom Groves, Hannah Lucy Jones, Robert Logan, Ben Pearson, John Weall and myself are showing work exploring abandoned places, stuck between habitation and demolition. Come down for a drink and a butchers.

Monday, 2 February 2009


Taj, Leonie and Luke playing in the snow in Burgess Park. © Magnus Andersson

Being from Sweden, I don't mind the snow at all, in fact I love it when it arrives in London. Overnight we have had the heaviest snow fall for eighteen years. Brilliant! What surprises me though is how unprepared this city is. We've known about this snow arriving for several days, yet there were no gritters out last night, no-one salting the roads, no snow ploughs out this morning. I mean, isn't this what the council is supposed to? As a result, today, there are no buses at all running in London, severe disruption on roads and rail networks, and people are being advised to travel only if absolutely necessary. All this for 15cm of snow!

Maddie playing with her dog Misty in Burgess Park this morning. © Magnus Andersson

Anyway, I braved the road conditions and set off to Burgess Park, perilously avoiding the stranded lorries and the skidding pedestrians, and now I'm sat at home again, having done my filing and being advised that going in to work isn't really an option at the moment - it would involve going up and then down a few hills - too risky. Snow, brilliant snow!

The message that all kids want to see! © Magnus Andersson