Cormorants, photographed by Japanese princess


Cormorant, Photo: HIH Princess Takamado

By HIH Princess Takamado of Japan, Mon, 07/12/2015 – 10:05:

‘Through the Lens’, Fujingaho Magazine, December 2015

Photos and text: Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado

English translation: Asia Club, WBSJ Volunteer Group (Anna THOMAS & KASE Tomoko)

The first time I encountered the cormorant was in England, when I was about 14 years old. When I heard that the origin of English word “cormorant” was “corvus Marinus,” or “crow of the sea”, I felt like I’d gotten a lot smarter. The word cormorant in Japanese, however, is just one syllable: u (pron. “oo”). I felt sorry for cormorants because when someone spots one, in Japanese they’d just say “Oh, an u.”

There are about 40 species of cormorant in the world. … The non-water repellant feathers of cormorants lead to less water resistance and are suitable for long and deep dives. …

Traditional cormorant fishing in Asian countries such as Japan and China makes use of this mastery. Cormorants swallow what they eat whole, without chewing, so there’s no damage to the fish’s body or taste. You can see ukai, or cormorant fishing, in several places throughout Japan: one of these places is at the Nagara river, where imperial cormorant fishing is performed by masters of the Imperial Household Agency. Japanese word ukai (literally cormorant keeping) is very interesting to me because the focus is placed not on the bird doing the fishing but on the cormorant fishing masters.

Because cormorants swallow fish without chewing, as I wrote before, we call taking what someone says at face value and believing them without thinking “swallowing [a story] like a cormorant.” Looking at cormorants in the wild, we can see them swallow shockingly large fish. There’s also the expression “the eyes of a cormorant, the eyes of a hawk” from the sharp gaze of cormorants and hawks hunting for the prey. This describes their gaze or state of searching fervently, not missing a single thing. Often this phrase is used for people who look for others’ flaws or deficiencies, so it doesn’t give a good impression. “Swallowing like a cormorant” gives an impression of stupidity, while “eyes of a cormorant, eyes of a hawk” sounds sharp and disagreeable. Neither portray cormorants as likeable characters.

Watching cormorants closely, however, and you can find they’re rather charming birds with glossy feathers. The cormorant I encountered in South Africa on the first page had very pretty red eyes. The other three pictures are all of the Great Cormorant which is found in Japan and has clear green eyes.

Sometimes your impression of a person can change if you look into their eyes while talking to them. If you swallow rumors “like a cormorant” or try to find faults with the “eyes of a cormorant, eyes of a hawk” you may become an unlikeable character. I really feel that for every person, we have to make the effort to judge not just by appearances but by taking a good look in their eyes.

Muslim girl likes rock concert, photo


Muslim girl at rock concert, photo by Jan Rijk

This photo by Dutch photographer Jan Rijk shows a 17-year-old Turkish Dutch Muslim girl, crowd surfing at a rock concert by the band John Coffey, on 19 December 2015.

This video shows part of that 19 December gig, in concert hall Gebroeders De Nobel in Leiden. Various people in the audience start crowd surfing. At about 0:45, the Muslim girl starts.

Translated from Vincent Frequin at Dichtbij.nl in the Netherlands, 22 December 2015:

LEIDEN – The photo of a Muslim girl crowd surfing at a concert in Leiden goes all over the internet. Photographer Jan Rijk: “It is moving to see that after all the misery of recent times yet there also can be tolerance. Music is obviously the way!”

During the concert of John Coffey in venue Gebr. De Nobel in Leiden the concert photographer Jan Rijk was moved by seeing two girls with headscarves on who turned out to be big fans of the Dutch rock band. “Then a little later one went crowd surfing, and I just had to capture this,” said Rijk.

Photo of integration and tolerance goes viral …

The girl in the picture would prefer not to generate too much fame for her person, but she would be happy if the photograph could bring about a change in the stereotype of ‘the Muslim‘, particularly at this time of hatred and destruction, she told Dichtbij.nl. “I also hope to have an effect on the Muslim community, because I know that there are more Muslim girls who also enjoy such music, but do not talk about it or are not allowed to go to the concerts by their parents.”

“I think my father will find this photo funny, but my mom will get really mad if she sees this, haha,” laughs the Muslim woman. She is proud and pleased with the beautiful picture. “Let’s hope that this, however unexpectedly, will be good for something and that this will lead to something positive!”

Muslim women at John Coffey concert

A comment by Walter Hoogerbeets under the article says (translated):

Funny, an angry tweet by [Dutch xenophobic politician Geert] Wilders on the day that the picture of a crowd surfing Muslim woman went viral. While he hates, we celebrate.

Anti-nazi artist John Heartfield, new book


Laughter is a Devastating Weapon, book cover, with Heartfield Hitler photomontage cartoon

By Jeff Lusanne:

John Heartfield: Laughter Is A Devastating Weapon

David King on the famed German photomontage artist

28 December 2015

Laughter is a Devastating Weapon (Tate Publishing, October 2015) is an exciting new publication devoted to the work of German artist John Heartfield (1891-1968), known for his incomparably dark, mocking, politically pointed photocollages. The title aptly refers to the satirical power of Heartfield’s artistic efforts, which earned him one of the top positions on the Nazis’ “the most wanted list” when they came to power in 1933 and nearly cost him his life.

Authors David King and Ernst Volland present a fascinating group of Heartfield images from King’s own collection. Volland is a German artist, whose work includes photomontages, as well as efforts in other media. Also an author and curator, Volland has brought to light overlooked figures such as Yevgeni Khaldei, the Soviet photographer best known for the iconic image of a Soviet soldier raising a flag over the Reichstag in Berlin in May 1945.

King has pursued a decades-long interest in the Russian Revolution and its graphic representation, and the relation of the visual to the historical record. …

The Heartfield tribute is organized chronologically, starting with book covers that he designed in the early 1920s. Often, the authors were able to locate Heartfield’s original materials––collaged photos, airbrush modifications, brushwork and text layout––providing insight into his process.

Nearly every image in Laughter Is A Devastating Weapon is accompanied by an informative caption. King and Volland explain the backgrounds and fates of a wide range of figures in this way, and the association to particular images provides a memorable means by which readers can enter into the history. …

The book begins with a concise account of Heartfield’s early life, which had a very strange twist. Helmut Herzfeld (Heartfield’s original name) was born in 1891 in Berlin, to politically active parents. His mother, Alice, was a textile worker and political activist, and Franz, his father, was a socialist/anarchist author, poet and playwright. He had a brother, Wieland, and two sisters. Franz was politically persecuted by the German authorities, prompting the family to move out of the country in impoverished conditions.

In 1899, for reasons that are still unknown, the children were suddenly abandoned by their parents. The former eventually ended up in the care of foster parents who raised them on strict Catholic lines. Helmut showed skill at drawing and painting, and began studies at the Bavarian Arts and Crafts School in Munich in 1908. He went to work as a graphic designer for printers, and by 1913, he had moved to Berlin and was reunited with his brother Wieland, now an aspiring writer, and they stepped into the lively avant-garde art scene.

When World War One broke out, Helmut was conscripted. Horrified at the prospect of participating in Germany’s nationalist and militarist cause, he faked a nervous breakdown to avoid service. Wieland joined the medical corps and was kicked out in 1915 for hitting a sergeant, was called up again, and then started a hunger strike and was discharged for good.

Helmut decided to change his name to “John Heartfield” as a conscious protest against German anti-British propaganda. John and Wieland (who changed the spelling of his last name from Herzfeld to Herzefelde) met artist George Grosz in 1915, which began a long-term artistic and personal friendship.

The King-Volland book describes how the group invented photomontage. In 1928 Grosz explained that “On a piece of cardboard we pasted a mishmash of advertisements for hernia belts, student song books and dog food, labels from schnapps and wine bottles, and photographs from the picture press, cut up at will in such a way as to say, visually, what would have been banned by the censors had we said it in words.”

Simultaneously, the group launched leftist journals that attacked militarism, the pro-war Social Democratic Party and bourgeois society as a whole. Wieland founded a new publishing firm, Malik Verlag, which would publish many significant works during the Weimar Republic (1919–1933). Heartfield, his brother and Grosz all joined the newly formed German Communist Party (KPD) on December 30, 1918, receiving their membership cards from Rosa Luxemburg in person. Just two weeks later, on January 15, 1919, Luxemburg was assassinated by members of the Freikorps, a far-right paramilitary force ordered by the Social Democratic government to crush revolutionary upheaval in Berlin.

Heartfield, Grosz and Herzfelde were all participants in the Dada movement in Berlin, the most political of its groups. Dadaism arose as a protest against the war, militarism and nationalism and against the “rational” bourgeois culture that had produced the war. The Dadaists hence attacked traditional aesthetics, carried out artistic provocations and valued “nonsense, irrationality and intuition.”

The work of Heartfield and the others within Dada took on a more thoughtful aesthetic character and a deep satirical strain begin to emerge. For Grosz, that took the form of scathing drawings that Wieland published in very successful print portfolios. Heartfield hit his stride with photocollages that often involved a playful and wild use of text and image.

Laughter is a Devastating Weapon presents a range of lesser-known work from the 1920s, particularly book cover designs Heartfield produced for Malik Verlag. Summarizing these, the authors write that “his use of photographs, integrated with his often idiosyncratic typography, transformed cover design in the 1920s. He was the first person to make a wraparound cover and his political vision combined with his visual engineering created strong and dynamic effects.”

Book cover for Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, by Kurt Tucholsky, 1929

Included in the book are striking designs for works by Upton Sinclair, John Reed, Franz Jung, Isaac Babel and others. Heartfield also created a striking cover for a German translation of Leon Trotsky’s My Flight from Siberia in 1922. The artist inevitably had run-ins with censorship. In the case of the cover for Sex and Espionage in Ghent Garrison by Heinrich Wandt, about the author’s experiences in World War I, the result is uproarious. The rejection of Heartfield’s first cover by the authorities led to increasingly absurd versions, which ultimately include an image of the censor himself cutting apart the cover, with far more overt sexual overtones than the original version had. …

'Reading the Bourgeois Press Makes You Blind and Deaf. Throw Away These Stupid Bandages!,' February 1930

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, Heartfield designed many KPD political posters and magazine covers, some of them quite well-crafted and effective as imagery, which promoted the party’s twists and turns. The iconic image of man whose head is entirely wrapped in newspaper pages––“Reading the bourgeois press makes you blind and deaf. Throw away these stupid bandages!”––goes beyond the immediate circumstances and makes a more lasting argument about media-promoted ignorance and narrowness. …

Heartfield created his most famous work as the German disaster unfolded. In 1930, he was hired by the Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung (Workers’ Illustrated Newspaper, or AIZ), a widely read weekly magazine published by “left-wing press baron” Willi Münzenberg, the cultural front man of the Communist International.

Heartfield, the authors of Laughter is a Devastating Weapon importantly point out, “always considered the final mass-production results, printed in their hundreds of thousands, to be his works of art, never the one-off original of cut-up images painstakingly glued together.” At its height, AIZ had a circulation of half a million, with a considerable following in the working class.

'Adolf the Superman: He Swallows Gold and Spouts Junk,' July 1932

Janos Reissman, a Hungarian photographer who took pictures for Heartfield, describes the “painstaking” process. “He insisted on the minutest changes [in the darkroom] which, in the end, I could no longer comprehend. … I used to get so tired that I could hardly stand, let alone think … But he would hurry home with the photos still damp, dry them, cut them out and position them under a heavy sheet of glass.”

Some of Heartfield’s images devoted to the rise of the Nazi Party remain fresh and disturbing to this day. He used inventive metaphors, playfulness, dark humor and seething anger to analyze and expose. One of the most legendary, of course, is Heartfield’s play on Hitler’s boastful claim, “Millions stand behind me.” In Heartfield’s composition, Hitler, making his famous salute, reaches behind his head to take cash from a gigantic, looming capitalist. The work’s text reads: “The real meaning of the Hitler salute: Millions Stand Behind Me––Little Man Asking for Big Donations.” The image appeared in October 1932, only months before the Nazis came to power.

'The Real Meaning of the Hitler Salute: Millions Stand Behind Me––Little Man Asking for Big Donations,' October 1932

On the night of April 14, 1933, the paramilitary SS burst into Heartfield’s apartment block as he was packing up his work. Hearing them, he dove through the window and leapt over a balcony, spraining his ankle. The Nazis searched the courtyard, but failed to find him hidden in a garbage bin, where he stayed for another seven hours. With the assistance of the underground KPD, he escaped over the Sudeten mountains into Czechoslovakia on foot, and he eventually reunited with Wieland and the AIZ staff.

In exile in Czechoslovakia, where Heartfield made some of his most famous anti-Nazi images, the circulation of AIZ fell to around 12,000. The authors state that “to be caught in Germany with a copy would have been suicidal.” When the German and Austrian ambassadors complained about the presence of Heartfield’s work at an international exhibition in Prague in 1934, the organizers removed seven of his 35 works. “The furore fuelled colossal publicity, and the Czech public voted with their feet, streaming to see Heartfield’s photomontages ‘turning laughter into a devastating weapon,’ as AIZ reported.” …

Publishing opportunities withered away towards the end of the 1930s, and once war broke out, it took sustained effort by well-known individuals to get the British authorities to admit Heartfield in 1938 as the Nazis threatened Czechoslovakia. Once World War Two broke out, “democratic” Britain detained Heartfield as an enemy alien in a camp. Only severe illness won him release.

King and Volland reveal that British intelligence kept a close eye on Heartfield from the moment he arrived in December 1938.

One MI5 memo from November 30, 1940 reads: “Unless there are strong reasons … for Helmut HERZFELD’s continued release I should, from a security standpoint, recommend his re-internment. He was a known Communist at the time of his admission to the this country.”

In 1950, Heartfield and his third wife, Tutti Fietz, also a German exile, moved to Stalinist East Germany––where he again faced interrogation. Laughter Is a Devastating Weapon contains the transcript of Heartfield’s intensive, blockheaded questioning by the ruling Stalinist party’s control commission on October 18, 1950. The Stalinists were fearful of artists like Heartfield and Brecht, frightened that they could not control their output or the content of their work. Heartfield died in East Berlin in April 1968, aged 77. The King-Volland volume contains almost nothing by him created after 1938.

Witch-hazel flowers, birds and fungi in December


Gooilust, 26 December 2015

On 26 December 2015, to Corversbos and Gooilust nature reserves. This photo shows a spot in Gooilust where birds often come to drink. Like the other photos in this blog post, this is a wide-angle lens photo.

In Corversbos, a robin near a fence. And a male and a female blackbird on a field.

Along the dirt road from Corverbos to Gooilust, candlesnuff fungus.

There was a Christmas tree near the Gooilust entrance. Not with normal Christmas tree ornaments, but with bird food in Christmas tree ornament shapes. However, contrary to other years, I did not see birds at the tree. Maybe because this December is abnormally warm, and birds can still find food at many places.

We arrived at the water where birds often drink. Great tits; a blue tit. A robin on the bank. A chaffinch.

Sounds of nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker and jay.

Gooilust, witch-hazel flowers, 26 December 2015

A bit further was a flowering witch-hazel tree; and still further, another one.

Gooilust, more witch-hazel flowers, 26 December 2015

They normally bloom in January-March. Not as early as December.

Gooilust, still more witch-hazel flowers, 26 December 2015

We continued. Egyptian geese in a meadow.

Sulphur tuft fungi.

Gooilust pond, 26 December 2015

As the camera setting changed from colours to black and white, we arrived at the pond, where one can see dragonflies in summer, but not now.

Gooilust canal, 26 December 2015

Here is another black and white photo, of a canal a bit further. At the far end of the canal, a naturally black and white horse is just visible.

Gooilust trees, 26 December 2015

Near the exit of Gooilust, some old trees had been logged.

A grey heron on the bank of a ditch. Behind it, on a meadow, a flock of grey lag geese.

Gooilust canal reflections, 26 December 2015

Finally, the dirt road to the Corversbos again. In the canal along it, water plants and reflections of trees.

Pro-nuclear propaganda sign removal in Fukushima


This video says about itself:

Fukushima Exclusion Zone Swallowed By Nature (new photos)

18 October 2015

Never-Before-Seen Images Reveal How The Fukushima Exclusion Zone Was Swallowed By Nature

Polish photographer Arkadiusz Podniesinski travelled to the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster last month to see the location with his own eyes. When he obtained permits to enter the roughly 20km (12.5 mile) Exclusion Zone, he was confronted with a scene similar to one from a post apocalyptic film. Podniesinski previously photographed the area around the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

“It is not earthquakes or tsunami that are to blame for the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, but humans,” writes Podniesinski on his website. He undertook the project so that he could draw his “own conclusions without being influenced by any media sensation, government propaganda, or nuclear lobbyists who are trying to play down the effects of the disaster, and pass on the information obtained to as wider a public as possible.”

More info: podniesinski.pl.

Audio by Stefan Kartenberg called Letting It go on CCDigMixter.

Abandoned vehicles are slowly swallowed up by nature on a stretch of road near the power plant

Some of the cars have entirely disappeared in the wild grass

Podniesinski shows a radiation reading of 6.7 uSv/h

A chained-up motorcycle is slowly absorbed into the field

These contaminated televisions were collected and piled up as part of the cleaning efforts

Cobwebs hang above the scattered products in this abandoned supermarket

Another photo from within a supermarket feels eerily similar to those from post-apocalyptic movies

This abandoned computer lab covered in animal droppings is from a village near the plant

A dining table with portable cookers ready to prepare food looks like it was left in haste

These go-karts have had their last race in an entertainment park located within the 12.5mile exclusion zone

Musical instruments including a piano litter the floor of this classroom

The earthquake which started the tsunami damaged buildings as well

These bicycles were left behind when residents fled

Classes were interrupted mid-lesson by the disaster

An empty arcade, now without patrons

This aerial photo taken by a drone shows one of the dump sites that contain thousands of bags of contaminated soil

Bags of radioactive soil are stacked one on top of the other to save space

Landowners have been told that these contaminated bags will be disposed of, but many people remain skeptical

Cows started to get white spots on their skin soon after the accident. One farmer believes this is due to the cows eating contaminated grass
“Nuclear energy is the energy of a bright future” reads the sign

From the Asahi Shimbun daily in Japan:

Removal work starts on ‘bright future’ pro-nuclear sign in evacuated Fukushima town

December 21, 2015

By MASAKAZU HONDA/ Staff Writer

FUTABA, Fukushima Prefecture–Workers removed lettering of a signboard that praises nuclear energy here on Dec. 21, despite opposition from the slogan writer who became an anti-nuclear activist after the Fukushima disaster emptied his hometown.

Two signboards in Futaba, including one that says, “Genshiryoku–Akarui Mirai no Energy” (Nuclear power is the energy of a bright future), became ironic symbols of the disaster at the nearby Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011. The other sign’s message is: “Genshiryoku–Kyodo no Hatten Yutakana Mirai” (Nuclear power will bring hometown development and an affluent future).

All residents of Futaba, which co-hosts the plant, were ordered to evacuate after the meltdowns.

The letters were removed from one signboard that stands over the town’s main street, which connects National Route No. 6 and JR Futaba Station.

The town assembly decided to remove the signs by the end of March 2016, citing “possible dangers of parts of the signs falling off due to dilapidation.”

However, Yuji Onuma, 39, who wrote the “bright future” slogan when he was a sixth-grader in Futaba, and others asked the town to keep signboards in place “for the sake of passing down the horrors of the nuclear accident and lessons learned from the accident to future generations.”

When the workers were taking down the letters, Onuma, who now lives in Koga, Ibaraki Prefecture, and his supporters held up panels saying, “Does removal mean reconstruction?” and “We cannot obliterate the past.”

The group had submitted to the Futaba government a petition signed by about 6,900 people from the town and elsewhere opposing the removal of the two signs.

Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa has said the town will keep the signs “in a recoverable condition” at a warehouse, suggesting the possibility that the signs and their pro-nuclear slogans may later go on display at a new facility.

About 3,600 officials and residents have taken part in nuclear disaster drills near Japan’s Sendai Nuclear Power Plant. The plant was the first to be reopened following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, despite warnings over tectonic risks. The drills in Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan, within 30 km of the power plant, simulated a serious nuclear accident, Kyodo news reported. At least 1,200 residents who were living within 5 km from the Sendai plant were evacuated by buses and other vehicles: here.

Japan to allow removal of ‘designated waste’ label from Fukushima crisis — Chicago Tribune: here.

Behind the scenes: Waste disposal site a dilemma for Fukushima — The Yomiuri Shimbun: here.

Sanderlings, goosanders and salt-shaker earthstar fungi


Meijendel, 19 December 2015

This photo shows scenery of nature reserve Meijendel in the Netherlands. We went there on 19 December 2015.

A blackbird sings. Very early, like that other blackbird.

Jay sounds.

Sulphur tuft fungi.

On a lake: mallards, tufted ducks and a female common pochard.

On the lake on the other side of the footpath: both male and female common pochards.

A young mute swan. A little grebe, diving every now and then.

And three goosanders, swimming to the west.

Meijendel sand dunes, 19 December 2015

On some parts of the sand dunes there is not much plant cover.

Meijendel, trees, 19 December 2015

Elsewhere, there is more: common sea-buckthorn and other shrubs and gnarled trees.

A great cormorant flies overhead. A dunnock sits on the top of a shrub.

Meijendel, European beachgrass, 19 December 2015

Eventually, we reach the last sand dune ridge just east of the North Sea, where European beachgrass grows.

On the beach, a few sanderlings, running fast.

As we walk back, some salt-shaker earthstars grow.

Meijendel, salt-shaker earthstar, 19 December 2015

This rare fungus is the biggest earthstar species. Maybe because of the unusually warm December, they are still here. Normally, they are finished in November.

As we continue, two fieldfares in a tree.

A male chaffinch in another tree.

Along the footpath, some more salt-shaker earthstars grow.

A nuthatch calls in woodland.

British Rock against Racism and photography


This 2013 video from Britain is called Archive in Focus: Syd Shelton, Rock against Racism.

By Bob Oram in Britain:

Rock-steady

Monday 30th October 2015

Syd Shelton’s photographs are a great record of how ‘70s music helped black and white youth stand their ground against racism, says BOB ORAM

Rock Against Racism
by Syd Shelton
(Autograph, £30)

NEXT year marks the 40th anniversary of a heavily intoxicated Eric Clapton blurting out racist crap on stage at the Birmingham Odeon.

“Britain is overcrowded,” he said. “Enoch will stop it and send them all back.”

Music’s response was immediate. Rock Against Racism (RAR), a collective of artists and political activists, came together for the next five years to fight fascism, racism and the rise of the National Front through music.

Syd Shelton, a British photographer and graphic designer, chronicled a unique visual record of its activities and a country gripped in racial and political tension.

This glorious book is a sumptuous collection of his photographs, work he says was a “socialist act,” and a “graphic argument” on behalf of marginalised lives.

From 1976 to ’81 the insubordinate, angry spirit of punk meshed with a rising generation of alienated black youth to find that they both had “no future in England’s dreaming.”

This video is called Rock Against Racism-Nazis Are No Fun Pt1.

And these videos are the sequels.

As Paul Gilroy says in a thoughtful essay accompanying the book: “It is essential that readers who are encountering these images for the first time appreciate how exciting it was to see them at the time they appeared.”

Anyone who lived through that period recognises how life-changing politically infused and committed art can be.

One of the highlights of the era was the April ’78 all-day concert in London’s Victoria headlined by the Clash, which drew thousands from all over the country to march to Victoria Park. RAR publication Temporary Hoarding described it as: “A park full of unity. Right in the middle of depressed, despondent, broke little Britain. Bands playing for free. The pinks and browns melt in sound.”

This music video from Britain says about itself:

Poly Styrene with Helsinki: Oh Bondage, Up Yours : Love Music Hate Racism

2 May 2008

Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex performs Oh Bondage, Up Yours! live at the Love Music Hate Racism Carnival in Victoria Park, London E3 on Sunday 27th April 2008.

Poly was one of a number of special guests appearing with Drew McConnell’s Helsinki. Also appearing were Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69, Fyfe Dangerfield of Guillemots, Jon McClure of Reverend And The Makers and Ed Larrikin, formerly of Larrikin Love.

Poly Styrene appeared with X-Ray Spex at the original Rock Against Racism Carnival in Victoria Park in 1978.

The Bob Oram article continues:

The stunning pictures of the concert —including performances by Misty in Roots, Tom Robinson Band, Aswad, Angelic Upstarts, The Beat, Matumbi, Elvis Costello, Steel Pulse, The Members, X Ray Spex, the Specials and Sham 69 — are counterpoised alongside powerful, intense images of people in Belfast and on the streets in Britain.

They contextualise what was an important moment in our nation’s understanding and history of race relations.

The clarity and directness of RAR’s trademark Love Music, Hate Racism slogan did more than anything else at that time to stop the possibility of any real connection between youth culture and racism and ultra-nationalism in its tracks.

As cultural commentator David Widgery said: “The great thing about RAR was its way of having a revolution without stopping the party.”

Even Cromer joined in the fun when The Ruts on the Militant Entertainment tour descended on the sedate Norfolk seaside town. The image of a punk girl lying on the stage of the West Runton Pavilion was a one-shot moment that Shelton recalls with pride, marking him put as someone who captured “stills from life” not “still life.”

As with all Shelton’s work, the mind wonders what is happening behind the image or just out of sight.

The brilliant picture of Joe Strummer on stage messing around with Paul Simonon’s bass guitar indeed raises more questions than it answers and among the 100 images included are two which at first look like one picture but are actually two bomb sites in which children are playing — one in London’s Brick Lane and one in Belfast.

With images as well from the pages of Temporary Hoarding and concert fliers and posters, this is a truly wonderful treasure trove that needs to be seen by everyone agitating and organising with imagination and passion today.

A perfect seasonal gift.

A free exhibition of Syd Shelton’s RAR photography runs at Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, London EC2 until December 5.