Documenting the creativity and relentless passion of the anti-nuclear protest movement in early 1980s Britain, Edward Barber’s Peace Signs photography first attracted the attention of media outlets such as The Guardian, The Observer Magazine and NME. More than 30 years later the British photographer has collaborated with Imperial War Museums to reimagine his politically charged collection as an exhibition featuring fresh contextualisation in the form of a new graphic installation entitled Mind Map of Anti-Nuclear Protest.
Predominantly focusing on the faces of the powerful anti-nuclear protests held across London and the UK, Edward’s portraiture demonstrates his consistent desire to humanise the activists often represented only as masses of bodies and slogans on hand-crafted signs. Having captured the significance of fashion and art in communicating pro-peace arguments, Edward’s fresh display of existing work offers a new generation the chance to interpret his photographs with re-evaluated context provided by him.
“I see this as preventative photography. The photographs here are both a celebration and a warning,” says Edward.
Peace Signs opens at IWM London on 26 May and will run until 4 September as part of IWM Contemporary, a programme of exhibitions featuring work created as a response to war and conflict.