Cristofer Morante Documents The Manchester Anti Tory Protests

Photojournalist and documentary photographer, Cristofer Morante, documents Manchester’s Anti Austerity March that took place in 2017 whilst the Conservative conference was being held.

Thousands of demonstrators descended on Manchester for the Conservative party conference, demanding a second Brexit referendum and an end to the Government’s austerity policies. A largely peaceful protest in the city, organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, involved thousands of demonstrators calling on Theresa May’s Conservatives to be kicked out of office.

“For me, the event was characterised by it’s fragmented nature. All manner of causes and a significant range of the political spectrum were represented, united in protest against the current state of affairs.

A political demonstration of this scale by it’s very nature is extensive, there are many different dynamics at play.

The event becomes all the more interesting if we choose to view it as an arena in which wider themes can be explored, among which are the relationship between individual and state, the way in which the self is lost amongst a common unconscious and the tension between the left and right of politics which is a manifestation in society of a conflict between different personalities and philosophies.”

Cris’ approach to photography is very much in line with 20th century reportage. Working in black and white which means that visual composition is the primary concern. Using principles of painting and ideas such as Bresson’s decisive moment, his work presents a narrative through the frame. In the photographs from the march, he explores themes of collective psychology, the relationship between the individual and the state, and the nature of political protest.