Craig Easton - Bank Top
Absolutely wonderful book of Craig Easton's award winning work, Bank Top
1st edition published by GOST, 2022
Easton’s photographs, alongside texts by writer, poet and social researcher Abdul Aziz Hafiz, aim to confront stereotypes and question the dangerous over-simplification of the challenges facing such communities. They do so by presenting the contemporary experience of residents as an ‘alternative history telling’. The black and white photographs in the book were all made in an area less than half a mile square in Blackburn during 2019 and 2020. Working with a large-format wooden field camera, Easton spent long days and weeks in the neighbourhood talking to residents and sometimes making pictures. The project melds image and text ― Easton’s portraiture and landscapes combined with poetry and an essay by Aziz Hafiz and with the testimonies of residents. This long-form collaboration acknowledges the issues and impacts of social deprivation, housing, unemployment, immigration and representation, as well as past and present foreign policy. The result is a collective and nuanced portrait of the town ― a sensitive response to the oversimplistic representation of such communities in both the media and by government, which deny the right of Bank Top to tell its own story.