Photographer Chris Bethell gets inside the Extinction Rebellion protests for Vice

9 May 2019

All photos by Chris Bethell

London-based photographer Chris Bethell caught our eye with The Duke of Earl, a search for identity, family and roots in rural America. Since then, the hotshot snapper has gone on to work for publications like Dazed and The Wire, and was recently featured in The British Journal of Photography. Oh, and The Duke of Earl picked up the Under 30s Gold Award for The Royal Photographic Society’s International Photography Exhibition.

His latest project sees Chris taking to the streets of London for Vice, hoping to capture what exactly went down at the large-scale Extinction Rebellion protests, which recently saw central London grind to a standstill as concerned environmentalists took to bridges and thoroughfares to scare government into action on climate change.

Chris’ association with the new media powerhouse goes back a bit. “I had my first lucky break with Vice about seven years ago now,” he tells us. “They’ve given me a lot of freedom in my work.”

Bethell worked with Vice journalist Michael Segalov on a series of reports from the frontline of the Extinction Rebellion events.

Most of the time the protestors were pretty unaware that I was taking photographs of them," he comments when we mention the in-the-moment feel of the photos he took during the course of a long, balmy weekend. “Occasionally I would see an intimate moment and ask people if they could stay as they were while I documented it.”

Bethell is now releasing a previous unseen stash of photos from the events exclusively here on It’s Nice That.

“After reading Ben Smoke’s piece in The Guardian about why arrest shouldn’t be glorified as a tactic I was a little skeptical of Extinction’s approach,” he tells us. “However, after spending several days walking around each site, overhearing talks and discussions and seeing the protest not only grow, but survive for as long as it did, it was hard not to be inspired. Seeing the headlines change from Brexit to climate change was a welcome relief — even if many articles revolved around delayed commuters.”

Check out Chris’ images below.

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About the Author

Josh Baines

Josh Baines joined It's Nice That from July 2018 to July 2019 as News Editor, covering new high-profile projects, awards announcements, and everything else in between.

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