Handsworth Riots 1985
Cafe Royal Books
At the tail end of the summer in September 1985, the day after a hugely successful annual community carnival, Handsworth in Birmingham burst into flames. On the Monday after the carnival a motorist was arrested for a traffic offence near the Acapulco Café on the Lozell's Road. A crowd gathered and sensing an injustice asked the police to let the man go. The events that followed saw 1500 members of the police force flood the area to quell a riot during which 50 shops were either burnt or looted. 25 people were injured and two people lost their lives.
Pogus Caesar's Handsworth Riots 1985 (Café Royal Books) documents the scene, and the aftermath and has just been published by the esteemed Café Royal Books.
Pogus says, "Working with Cafe Royal Books on the limited edition publication 'Handsworth Riots 1985' has been quite inspirational. The ability to share rare archival images from OOM Gallery Archive has awarded me the opportunity to open up a discussion on post war British history. I also look forward to collaborating with CRB on future projects."
Cafe Royal Books are edited and published by the incredible Craig Atkinson, providing a weekly publication in an almost fanzine format of mainly British documentary photography. CRB publishes about 70 books per year. There is no resource quite like this, documenting facets of British life dating back to the 70s.
Craig says on the Cafe Royal website, "My aim is to create a focussed and complete archive of British documentary photography. I publish roughly 70 titles each year, with an archive box set every 100th title. These archive boxes are aimed at major collections, libraries and museums — helping to increase the visibility of the work and making the books publicly accessible for as long as possible."
Pogus Caesar's photography from Handsworth in 1985 is a significant and important addition to the Café Royal collection. Telling the troubling story then and revealing much about this Britain now. Everything should look very different, but doesn't.
Purchase directly from Cafe Royal Books for only £6.99