Photographs from the 2019 St Pauls Carnival, a celebration of African Caribbean culture in the city of Bristol.
“Bristol has always been a city of protest with an alternative identity that pushes back on those mainstream or established narratives.” Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, 2021
It’s not often that I find myself agreeing with Mayor Rees, but he is right when he says that Bristol is a city of protest. From the Bristol Bridge riot of 1793 to the more recent Kill The Bill riot of 2021, it sometimes feels like not a week goes by without some form of demonstration within the city’s environs.
Bristol made headlines around the world in June 2020 when the statue of Edward Colston was toppled from its plinth, rolled along the road, and thrown into the harbour during a large Black Lives Matter protest. The felling of Colston was the culmination of years of dissent and protest by people who demanded the removal of the slave trader’s effigy.
Wikipedia provides a good run-down of the history of riot in the city, while Trinity Centre have started a project, Art of Resistance, exploring 100 years of social activism, protest and civil disobedience in Bristol and the art that underpinned each movement
For me this provides the perfect opportunity to take photographs in an environment where photography is expected and often welcomed. That’s not to say it is always appreciated, especially at the more recent Kill The Bill protests where an emphasis on anonymity (in some cases for good reason) has often prevailed.