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Photography

Home Sweet Home: five decades of life at home in Britain

Middle England, Paul and Richard (1973)
Middle England, Paul and Richard (1973) © John Myers

Home Sweet Home, 1970-2018: The British Home, a political history is one of the main exhibitions at the 50th Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in the south of France. It's the work of 30 photographers who have captured scenes of private, everyday life in Britain from the 1970s until now.

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"British people, more than the French, started to fall in love with their homes very early in the 19th century. The British middle class tried to impose their values of the "home" on the working class," Isabelle Bonnet, curator of the exhibition, told RFI. 

Something Like a Nest (2014)
Something Like a Nest (2014) © Andy Sewell

"They finally succeeded, after World War II with the arrival of the television. There was a kind of ‘return to the home’, which was being redefined as a place of leisure. The idea was that they were in less danger at home than in the street," she added.

A chapter in the exhibition is dedicated to a series called "The taste of others" showing the work of famous British photographers including Martin Parr, John Myers and Karen Knorr.

The many interiors of households across the UK paint a picture of stark differences in social class, from the sometimes bleak to the absurd. 

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