As the ‘in-house’ photographer documenting the Rock Against Racism (RAR) movement, Syd Shelton’s photographs help us visualise the volatility of a country divided across race, class and gender. Active between 1976 and 1981, the movement confronted the racist ideologies present in the streets, parks and town halls of Britain during this period.
Formed by a collective of political activists, musicians and artists to combat the fascism and racism rife in Britain at the time, RAR provided an antidote to the growing popularity of fascist groups such as The National Front. Their carnivals and concerts saw reggae and punk bands on the same stages, attracting large, multicultural audiences. Through his documentation of these events, Shelton shows the vibrancy and dynamism of environments where racist skinheads would dance to Jamaican ska, punks embraced reggae and black kids began reaching out to punk. As well as documenting audiences as they navigated this new terrain, Shelton’s work documents legendary performers including The Clash, Elvis Costello, Misty in the Roots and The Specials.
Shelton’s photographic archive includes documentation of pivotal moments in the movement such as the 1978 RAR Carnival in London’s Victoria Park, which attracted an audience of 100,000 people. Alongside documenting these events, Shelton took contextual social and cultural images that inform the politics of the movement across the country.
A carefully curated selection of Syd Shelton’s body of work is available for purchase. The following options are available: collectors’ limited edition prints, original unique vintage prints or open edition digital prints.
Collectors’ limited edition prints
These are available as archival silver gelatin fibre prints and come in an edition of 10 plus 2 AP. They come signed, dated and numbered, and are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. The following print size is available: 16 x 20 inch.
A limited number of unique and original vintage prints are available for purchase. They are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Open edition digital prints
These prints are available as giclée prints on Hahnemuhle fine art paper. The following print sizes are available:
A4, 21 x 29.7 cm
A3, 29.7 x 42 cm
A2, 42 x 59.4 cm
A1, 59.4 x 84.1 cm
Prices are available upon request. Please note that all prices are exclusive of VAT, framing and packaging and posting.