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The Present Tense
Photography Dora Densham-Bond

The Present Tense, our Brexit-inspired photo exhibition, is now open

Our photo submission campaign on life in Brexit Britain is on view at LN-CC in Dalston, with a separate selection of entries also on show at City Hall

In the lead-up to last week’s would-be ‘Brexit Day’, March 29, we launched The Present Tense — a photography census about pre-Brexit tension. Dazed readers sent us their original photographs, capturing life in the UK and Ireland in 2019. You can now see the results on display at LN-CC, for the next three weeks, for free. 

The final images have been selected by leading UK figures who understand Britishness in their own way – including poet Wilson Oryema, ex-Slits guitarist Viv Albertine, Vote Leave whistleblower Shahmir Sanni and artist Jeremy Deller. “When we look back on this period, on the fact that we know Britain is wrapped up in the middle of the Trump investigation, that we know multiple crimes were committed in the referendum, but that we plunged on regardless, I think we will look back in bafflement. We won’t understand how we let it happen,” says Observer reporter Carole Cadwalladr, of her choice, by Izzy Budler (below). 

The powerful images deal with gentrification, displacement and the geography of urban life, hostility against immigrants in areas outside London, and the power and freedom of youth in the face of it all. Read all about the campaign here, and find out what went down at the launch party (including a surprise DJ set by a one-off EU-inspired Mr Blobby).

A wider selection of London-based submissions is also on view at City Hall, as part of a photo exhibition London Is Open on the diversity of the city. View the images from this showcase below.