Basildon, located 25 miles east of London in Essex is a town compromised of a white working class community. In the English referendum last year the area 68% voted to leave the EU, while only 31% voted to remain. This result “only underlines Basildon’s relevance as an exemplary district that can reveal to us the true heart of the English people,” say publisher Kehrer Verlag on the town that is the subject of its recent release, Magic Party Place by photographer CJ Clarke.
Essex has been CJ’s home for the majority of his life and Magic Party Place sees the photographer explore “the identity of the English and the state of the contemporary English nation” for over ten years. Meaning the photographs published in the book despite their constant surroundings differ in features.
Basildon’s architecture, the majority of which “was built as part of a massive urban renewal program following the devastation of London in the Second World War,” is interspersed with portraits of its residents. From older couples swaying on the dance floor to the young out on the razz, CJ’s photography is cascaded in grainy monochrome, adding to the time frame in which these photographs were taken.
The publication, designed by Teun van der Heijden is available in three colours, green, blue or orange, and upon ordering you don’t know which one will arrive in the post.
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