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tv   Through the Lens  BBC News  December 24, 2017 9:30pm-10:01pm GMT

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it is bbc news, the headlines. it is christmas in mosul and christians there are celebrating. it is the first time since 2014 they have been allowed to observe the tradition. russian opposition politician says he has the signatures he needs to be registered as a candidate for the presidential election in march. he said he will call a boycott if remains disqualify. tu rkey‘s remains disqualify. turkey's government has sacked other officials since last year's failed coup. tunisia has banned all airlines from the united arab emirates from landing in the country. becomes two days after the uae banned tunisian women flying to or transiting through its territory. those are the headlines. now on bbc news, rebecca jones presents the second in two films revealing the inside stories of world—changing events from magnum photographers in new york, london and paris.
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welcome to our series through the lens, marking the 70th anniversary of magnum photos, with me, rebecca jones. i'm in london and i'll be introducing you to six of the agency's greatest photographers who will be telling us how they recorded history in the making. we'll hear from chris steele—perkins, whose pictures captured the highs and lows of britain under margaret thatcher. elliott erwitt, who photographed many of the cold war leaders. and bruce davidson, whose images of the us's civil rights movement still resonate today. first, let's meet david hurn. as a young man he was in the heart of london in the ‘60s and captured the glamour and grit of britain
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in an era of liberation and at the height of beatlemania. for the first time in the history of let's say communication, everybody loves one medium. suddenly, everybody loves photography. my approach has always been that i really don't like to set up pictures or anything. i see myselfjust as an observer of the eccentricities of life. what i call the exotic of the mundane. so i spend most of my time trying to get some kind of relationship between the extraordinary following of fans they had and the beatles themselves and ijust think this is charming. there's paul on the train and this delightful lady. it is obvious that she is talking
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to somebody saying, "look who this is!" she has suddenly seen this megastar and my guess is that it's a major thing in her life. i'm sure with great tenderness she would talk about this moment to her friends for ages and ages. when she met paul, probably, you know? i like memory, i like emotion, i like love, you know, i like passion. this picture was taken in the isle of wight pop festival. bob dylan was there and joni mitchell was there and the doors and the band. people at those sorts of events seemed to lose their inhibitions, in a way. out of nowhere, somebody seemed to be able to get this sort of foam thing,
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you know, and you just need somebody spraying foam around for everybody else to take their clothes off and all sort of hug each other amongst the foam. i love seeing people that like each other. i don't care if they only like each otherfor ten minutes. the sort of things i love photographing are the things that quite a lot of other people do that i wouldn't under normal circumstances ever dream of doing. queen charlotte's balljust absolutely fascinated me. i mean, there were all these young girls, almost like a cattle market, being shoved around for all blokes to look at. it was obviously all to do with, you know, meeting the right blokes, et cetera. here we have four people, two pairs. all they are doing, as far as i can see, is talking to each other, but they all have what i would think was an exaggerated gesture.
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it's the gesture that comes from holding a cigarette and i think this is a nice picture. it has authorship, i think. i'm basically, bizarrely, a rather shy person, but the lovely thing about the camera is that you hide behind it, so that if anybody... normally, if you are shy, and somebody talks to you... but if you have a camera, you have an excuse to be there. god, it's been a fun life. it's been a fun life. and, uh, i've loved every minute of it, you know? david hurn, who observed the eccentricities of britain in the ‘60s. america in the 1960s was dominated by the issue of race. bruce davidson chronicled the civil rights movement and accompanied black protesters on the 50 mile walk between selma
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and montgomery, in alabama. in orderfor me to make meaningful photographs, i had to be close, and that's what i did. i was doing high fashion pictures for vogue magazine. i come to feel that i can no longer do fashion. that was not where the world was for me at that time. it was important for someone to document what was happening in the south and step into that world. whenever i heard there was a march happening in birmingham i wouldjump on a plane and be down there. i wasn't sponsored by anybody. i didn't have a motor scooter or anything. when i lifted my camera to take a picture, i lost maybe 15 or 20 feet, maybe more, and i have to run to catch up, but i was in good
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shape in those days. this is an important picture. it shows two hefty cops from birmingham arresting a young woman. you can see that they're twisting her arm. in the background, there's surprise, eexcitement. surprise, excitement. but i didn't focus on that. that was just happenstance. that young man, who i haven't been able to find, it was his idea to put ‘vote‘ on his head and it was a very powerful image. it was also a very dangerous image for him, because the national guard was alongside, waiting in the woods for anything to happen, and they couldn't be trusted. the police couldn't be trusted.
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so he was showing off that which the whole march was really about and he survived and the image survived. i was privileged to photograph john lewis when he stepped into the bus to ride to jackson, mississippi, from montgomery, alabama. a famous civil rights leader and a congressman 110w. this is an important picture in a way because it was the beginning of 1961 freedom bus rides. the previous bus was burned and people were arrested and beaten and they set the bus on fire. i photographed people who voted for the first time in their life and they were in their 70s and that was very moving. towards the end of the selma march, people could vote and they'd vote, they could get a good education. if you get a good education you can get a good job and a good life, so that was the beginning of opening the door to the new world. i'm an outsider on the inside, but you're never completely on the inside, but you can make an attempt to see and be part of another life.
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many of the issues bruce davidson documented are still making headlines today. as are those captured in the photos of elliott erwitt. he's the child of russian parents who emigrated to the us. in the 1950s and ‘60s, he travelled to the soviet union and to cuba. the pictures he took there revealed the personalities and the tensions of the cold war. the picture was taken in 1959. i was in moscow. nixon, who was vice president at the time, was on a state visit to the soviet union and so i took the opportunity ofjoining the press corps that followed him around. they were grandstanding, nixon and khrushchev. they were just sort of playing
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for their audience. nixon was saying that, "we americans eat meat while you russians eat cabbage". it was just a way of nixon saying that we are well off and rich and you are miserable and poor. the russians have two parades a year where they display their might. may day, the workers‘ day, and the revolution. i happened to be there for the latter one. i was well positioned by virtue of going through three rings of security, together with a soviet tv crew. somehow i blended in. i must have been badly dressed or something. sportswomen was one of the pictures taken there. at the beginning of the parade they have the... they display their military might and then they have
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the spontaneous worker's parade. the spontaneous parade, it generally lasted five hours. nothing spontaneous about it, of course. in 1964, i went to cuba for about a week or ten days and i spent it in havana. i spent it with fidel castro and che guevara. it was fascinating. fidel castro, he liked to be photographed, like any celebrity. i could sort of compare them to cowboys. they were affable, pleasant, interesting and very photogenic, as you will see. especially che. i would say he was the marilyn monroe of the period. he seemed to be in a good mood, as i remember.
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he even gave me a box of cigars, which i did not bring into the united states because it was prohibited. i regret the box of cigars. well, he was a charming man, i mean, apart from what he did or didn't do. there is many people who have doubtful backgrounds and doubtful histories. face—to—face they can be quite charming and accessible and interesting. i didn't speak so much. i listened more. i mean, photographers shouldn't get in the way of things. i hope that i was an observer rather than a participant. elliott erwitt remembering the cold war. don't forget, you can catch up on the whole series at the bbc website.
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can you imagine taking pictures of one of the most charismatic figures of the 20th century? well, thomas hoepker did just that when he was assigned to photographed muhammad ali in 1966. you have days where nothing happens and days that are full of surprises. i was working at the magazine in germany. one day the editor in chief came. he asked us, would you like to meet a very interesting person in the usa? his name is muhammad ali and he is a fantastic boxer. we had no idea about boxing. it was almost impossible to do interviews with him. sometimes we went in the morning but he did not show up. you could not anticipate anything. he was a surprise every day. we flew over to louisville
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and he was in the gym and we went to the gym, it was dark and suddenly he saw us standing there. "oh, you're there". and he did this to my camera and the gong comes on for the second round and he went back and punched the ball. so i only click and click and i had two pictures and these were the best pictures i ever took of him. you have to be very ready for surprises with him. he could be a different person from one moment to the other. one day he said, ok, i'll show you the city. and then we came to the chicago
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river and there was a little bridge and i said, could you go up there, and without telling him he just took off his shirt and then i said to him, jump. and hejumped from the bridge down, and click, another click, only one. then, ok, let's go somewhere else and have something to eat. we drove around again in chicago and suddenly he said, let's stop here, i want to go to the bakery, they have wonderful cookies. so he went inside and it took him quite a while. and an hour later, close to the bakery, he said, let me get a couple more. so he went inside and this time i said, something is strange here. so i went into the bakery and i saw him in there and then i understood because there was the baker's daughter. he was flirting very heavily,
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so it was not the cookies, it was the young, very pretty lady. the funny thing is that i visited ali four years later, so i came to this house and we sat down and i took some pictures of him and suddenly the door opened and his wife came in. and who was the wife? she was the baker's daughter, which i had photographed a couple of years before. thomas hoepker on the unforgettable world heavyweight boxing champion muhammad ali. in the same year, costa manos stumbled upon the funeral of a young american soldier killed in vietnam. one of the photographs he took went on to become a poster, and an emblem of the anti—war movement. i think to be a good photographer you have to know what you are looking for. the year was 1966, i was travelling around the south on an assignment
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for a japanese magazine to photograph southern landscapes, that was my assignment. i am out in the countryside and in the south there are these flat fields that are cotton fields, and i look and there is this church, a wooden church, unpainted wood. what was different was that there was a brown army bus parked in front of it. i drive up to the church, park behind the bus and go around to the back of the church, and they were going to have a funeral there. and all the people were there and they were waiting for the body of this soldier who was killed in vietnam to be brought to the church for the funeral. i talked to the boy's grandmother, and i said, is it ok to take pictures? she said sure, sure, sure. this was a moment when the bus carrying the honour guard, which was the soldiers who are carrying the coffin and the coffin and the ambulance, the hearse, they brought the coffin from the hearse to the burial site.
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that is a symbolic picture, showing the soldiers, who were the honour guard, and they've brought the boy's body to the church cemetery. the picture of the lady crying became iconic. it became an anti—war poster in europe, and it was a big poster that was all over europe. that was a time when people were protesting against the war and it just became a real protest picture. it's a historical picture, because it is a specific moment in that war that shows how it touched ordinary people. i don't know who the little boy is, to be honest with you, and he was never identified in the article. i assume that he is either a cousin or a close friend who knew this boy, who was killed, and that's the way
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it affected him. that's what i saw and i photographed what i saw, and the pictures speak for themselves, i think. it was all over in about a half an hour, they came with the casket, they had a service. this is a moment that happened once and never happened before, will never happen again, and that's that kind of picture i think. and a very touching story, to appear at that time when people were tired of the vietnam war, and all these boys being killed. costa manos on his heartbreaking images of grief. chris steele—perkins is probably best known for his documentary pictures of life in britain. in the 1980s he produced a range of photographs which captured the nation under the conservative prime minister margaret thatcher, pointing his camera at every section of society.
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photography is about history, demarcating a period and a time. the wolverhampton set of pictures was actually done for the sunday times magazine, and the whole idea was to go back to wolverhampton, ten years after enoch powell had given his famous, as it was yet to be known, "rivers of blood" speech, and go and look at the asian and afro—caribbean community up in wolverhampton and see whether they were actually drinking each other‘s blood or not. there was a church club which seemed seemed to cater quite well for local kids, they could go down there and play their own music, hang out, there was a kind of rhythm to the whole thing, and you kind of tuned into that, and that's what you're after.
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the exact sort of compositional elements are more important in the overall composition, rather than the small details. the idea was about trying to photograph the english trying to have fun. trying to sort of show the world that they kind of... had a good life. finding the oddities in people, it's almost like an act of homage rather than a kick in the midriff. i went to a lot of nightclubs, and people hanging out, and bored couples who don't speak to each other for hours, and i was photographing this way, and people were all going, there, there! i thought maybe this was a new dance, and i turn around and this fight was going on right behind me. they are all rather well dressed up for this sort of night out, of being cool, and they end up on the floor sort of being punched in the mouth.
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once again, perhaps that is a metaphor for the way we live. there was the sort of tail end of national front and people like this, still sort of active in street demonstrations in britain. it felt like it needed to be covered, and for me that was about the posture and, sort of, the posturing and expression, and projection that people wanted to give off. it is hard to know what people really think any more. i mean, you know, mythologies kind of creep up and cover things in the new realities. that shot of thatcher is, i found, quite ambiguous. yes, she kind of looks startled, and kind of looks confused almost. but at the same time she is quite glamorous. and then obviously you have the parody of the people
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in the background who are all open—mouthed and overcome by being in her presence. ifeel like i got one picture that has kind of stood the test of time, and is still ambiguous, which i like about photography, that it can be ambiguous, you know, you can read it different ways. and they're all right. chris steele—perkins on the ambiguity of photography as a historical record. and that is all from through the lens here at the southbank centre. see the rest of the series at hello. very mild out there and for the last
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couple of weeks or so, we have been forecasting a very mild christmas and indeed, the temperatures are well above the average for the time of year right across the country right now and it will remain like it throughout the big day itself. so staying very mild across the uk. the winds are streaming in from the south—west, carrying rain bearing clouds as well, so for some of, additionally, it's very soggy. but out towards the north—west of the atlantic here, the winds are changing direction and they are coming in from the arctic so there is a little bit of cold air tucking in behind this mild plume of air and that is a sign that as we head towards boxing day and the days after, things are going to turn that little bit colder. but for christmas day itself, it's very mild across england and wales. there is some rain on the way and temperatures will be double figures right across england and wales. in the lowlands of scotland, dipping down to seven later in the day. you can see in the far north of scotland, four or 5 degrees. but of wet end to christmas day
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for many of us across the uk. but a wet end to christmas day for many of us across the uk. it does look as though the rain could even turn to snow, at least for a time across the southern uplands of scotland. perhaps the highlands as well, as we see slightly cold air from the north tucking into this weather system so it could just about be the case that on christmas day in the evening, we will get a little bit of snow, but mostly across the hills. boxing day itself, still mild air across the uk but the colder air starting to push in into the uk. we will also see one weather front moving away, another one coming in. we are in between weather systems on boxing day itself. let's see what it looks like in the morning. there could be some sleet around to northern areas, but then a lot of sunshine around. could be quite frosty first thing in the morning. can see temperatures are into single figures, but very quickly, later on boxing day will see another area of low pressure that is going to tuck in into the south here and also mix in with the cold air and on the northern edge of this area of rain across the hills of wales, maybe the chilterns,
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cotswolds, we could see a little bit of sleet or snow falling, mostly as i say, across the hills. so a very damp, if not wet start also on wednesday morning across the south—east of the country and again, there could be a little bit of sleet around as we see the cold air coming in from the north. so, christmas itself is mild, but then boxing day and wednesday, we start to see the colder air, at least temporarily coming in. you can just about see a little bit of snow, but at this stage we don't think it's a big deal for most of us. wednesday afternoon is going to be bright and pretty cold. temperatures around three to six or 7 degrees. on thursday, another weather front, perhaps affecting south—western areas, but you can see on thursday it's largely a dry day across the uk with a few showers in the north. temperatures of around three to 5 degrees. on friday, those winds start to change direction again and they come in from the south—westerly direction. that means once more, those temperatures. and, we are back into the mild air, the wind comes
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from the far south—west. but again, a little bit of cold airtucking in behind. the thinking is, new year's eve we'll see low—pressure approaching and into new year's day, this spells very wet, very windy weather across the country. so a stormy potentially period into 2018 and at the very least it will be unsettled with certainly some wind on the way. and gales possibly as well and possibly snow across northern hills. that's it from me, goodbye. this is bbc news, the headlines at ten: north korea condemns the latest round of un sanctions and vows to strengthen its nuclear deterrent. rescuers are searching for victims of a tropical storm in the southern philippines. more than 200 people have died in mudslides and flash floods. two men have been killed and four people injured
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following a multiple vehicle crash on the m40 in 0xfordshire. the motorway has now reopened. in halfan in half an hour, join me as i take a look back to the photocall held here at kensington paris which introduced prince harry's bride—to—be, meghan markle, to the royal media. that is the royal review, 2017.
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