One of the undeniable perks of studying photography is what the homework consists of… Being sent to London to look at photography galleries all day isn’t too bad.
The first, and to be frank, most interesting visit was the Photographers’ Gallery in Soho. Despite exploring six floors of images and finding nothing that was relevant to my own project, it was certainly eye-opening.
Currently the gallery has an exhibition called ‘Human Rights, Human Wrongs’, running from 6th Feb to 6th April. Each wall was filled with faces, some familiar (i.e. Dr Martin Luther King Jr) and some less so. It was hugely overwhelming scanning over the photos depicting various civil rights movements.
I’d absolutely recommend going to this if you’re in London as there are so many events recorded photographically that I’d never even heard of. Understandably, a lot of the moments in history portrayed are a little upsetting but nevertheless I was shocked as to why I’d never heard of them before.
Seeing as history is a compulsory subject up until the age of fourteen, it’s odd how little we seem to learn. Of course it’s important to learn of the wars that have shaped our society today, but why don’t we learn about anything other than Western culture? This is not some rigid world where each country is isolated from the other. It’s important to learn about these things regardless of whether we think they affect us or not.
Perhaps it may not be realistic to incorporate all these events into the curriculum but a little more exposure of it would be simple. Yes, I know all about Hitler, I have lots of knowledge on the Montgomery bus boycotts but why don’t I know about what happened in Czech Republic or the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
There are so many important civil rights events, so many terrible crimes committed that we need to learn about in order to prevent any further inequality. We have come so far yet there’s still a long way to go. Personally, I’m going to take the initiative and teach myself a little history, even if no one else will.