This is a major new book of Syd Shelton’s photographs and graphic design produced for and about the British ‘Rock Against Racism’ Movement of 1976-1981.
Rock Against Racism (RAR) confronted racist ideology in the streets, parks and town halls of Britain. RAR was formed by a collective of musicians and political activists to fight fascism and racism through music.
Shelton’s photographs capture one of the most intriguing and contradictory political periods in British post war history, and for him this work was a socialist act, what he calls a ‘graphic argument’ on behalf of marginalised lives.
Shelton photographed performers such as The Clash, Elvis Costello, Misty in Roots, Tom Robinson, Au Pairs and The Specials. He also captured the audiences at RAR gigs and carnivals across England, as well as what he calls ‘the contextual images’ of the lives and landscapes that often fuelled acts of racist violence.
This full colour publication features and essay by Paul Gilroy (Professor of American and English Literature at King’s College London), and an interview with Syd Shelton by writer and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips (Visiting Professor in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York).
The book is co-edited by Mark Sealy MBE Director of Autograph ABP and Carol Tulloch, Professor of Dress, Diaspora and Transnationalism at the University of the Arts London.