Whilst the majority of my time spent reading lately has tended to involve nattily dressed dreads, catatonic Cardiff pissheads and cartoon versions of the Carter family there’s always room for some revolutionaries on my shelf. Though it’s often a thin line between freedom fighter and terrorist, some of the most important political events in the history of the world have been carried out by ‘the people’ taking a very physical and often suicidal stance against their overbearing oppressors. Though these uprisings have been happening since time immemorial, the revolutionary events of the past 65 years have been immortalised on camera, the photos themselves becoming visual inspiration for the next uprising to come along. Selected from the archives of the prestigious 65-year-old photo agency founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson, this collection of images from internationally renowned photographers is record of worldwide revolutions from the Algerian uprising of 1954 up to the more recent shockwave that was the Arab Spring. Spanning decades and featuring countries as diverse as Prague, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, China, Romania and Libya, the brilliant shutter work of Raymond Depardon, Burt Glinn, Rene Burri, Josef Koudelka, Susan Meiselas et al provides a collective overview of the perils and passions experienced all around the world in the honourable quest for liberty. Everyone should sit down and read this vitally important book and thank themselves that they don’t have to risk their lives for the basic human rights of freedom of speech and a democratic voting system.
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© Moises Saman / Magnum Photos Egypt.Cairo. November, 20, 2011. A protestor stands by a burning car during clashes near Tahrir Square.
© Susan Meiselas /Magnum Photos Nicaragua. Jinotepe.1981. A funeral procession for assassinated student leaders. Demonstrators carry a photograph of Arlen Siu , an FSLN guerrilla fighter killed in the mountains, three years earlier.