This event is part of our Past Programme
In the wake of the suburban riots that rocked France in late 2005, Simon Wheatley found himself in the small town of Blois in the Loire Valley, on the edge of which stood France’s fourth biggest banlieue where almost half the population were lumped in a world far removed from the bourgeois town centre with its pretty postcard view. Fascinated by the demographics and this opportunity to portray France’s institutionalised marginalisation, he made several trips over the course of a year in his time as a photographer with Magnum.
On the night Simon is joined by the author Ciaran Thapar to discuss the project, also in the context of the acclaimed work he was doing in similar environments in London at the time, and the pressures he faced as a young photographer in the limelight which led to him subsequently spending a decade searching for his ancestry in India.
The talk will be followed by a Book Signing.
Simon Wheatley is a London based photographer. His first book Don’t Call Me Urban! The Time of Grime was hailed as a classic upon its release in 2010 and used as the visual template for the first series of Top Boy, as well as a go-to reference for many film productions and mood-boards since. He is been in-house photographer at Abbey Road studios and was recently selected by Leica to lead the re-release of their legendary M6 camera.
Ciaran Thapar is a London-based educator and author, with a decade's experience working with young people in schools, youth clubs and prisons. He writes stories about social justice, music culture and the city for a range of publications, including British GQ and the Guardian. His debut book, Cut Short: Why We're Failing Our Youth — and How to Fix It, was published by Penguin (Viking) in 2021.