Release of the Birmingham Six by Brian Harris
Release of the Birmingham Six, 1991, by Brian Harris. Six Irishmen were wrongly imprisoned for life for the IRA’s Birmingham pub bombings in 1974.
Doubts about their convictions soon emerged, and the sentences were finally quashed in March 1991. The Independent was part of the campaign for justice and was pleased to publish this joyous image.
About Brian Harris
Since going freelance in 1999, Brian has staged several solo exhibitions, notably at Photofusion Photography Centre, and has contributed to exhibitions organised by the British Press Photographers’ Association. In 2006-7 he collaborated with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on Remembered, a major illustrated book of his photographs and series of international touring exhibitions chronicling the CWGC’s work caring for the graves of over 1.7 million Commonwealth war dead.
The BBC has made three short documentaries about his working methods and he has debated live on Radio 4’s The Moral Maze: ‘An experience more terrifying than walking through a minefield on the Falkland Islands.’
Brian lives with his partner Nikki near Cambridge in East Anglia and contribute generic imagery to various agencies as well as generating original photographic essays such as his recent coverage of the First World War battlefield in Europe to coincide with the 100th anniversary of WWI-1914-1918.
Brian has recently published ‘…and then the Prime Minister hit me…’ a 320 page hard back book of images and essays covering his life’s work. The book has been edited, designed, printed and bound in England and is now available in a standard version or the slipcased signed and numbered limited edition of 200 copies at:
Brian Harris has been an editorial, news and current affairs photographer for more than 47 years. Fascinated in his teens by the alchemy of the darkroom in the 1960s Brian started to combine his school work with photographing weddings and football matches in his native Essex. A job as a runner at the Fox Photos agency at the age of sixteen set Brian on the path that would shape his life.
In the 1970s Brian worked in the heart of London’s Fleet Street, freelancing for The Sun, The Times, News of the World, the BBC and United Press International, covering everything from IRA bombings to celebrity news, until joining The Times as its youngest ever staff photographer aged twenty-five. When The Independent launched in 1986, Brian became its first staff photographer, playing a key role in forming the renowned Indy style of intelligent editorial photography. In his fourteen years at The Independent Brian travelled the world to cover the stories that defined the era.
About Brian Harris
Brian Harris grew up in London but now lives near Cambridge in England. He has worked as a staff photographer on The Times of London and was appointed chief photographer of the Independent newspaper when it launched in 1986.
He photographed the end of the civil war in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), the aftermath of the Falklands war and the famine in Ethiopia and the Sudan. He spent 18 months in Eastern Europe documenting the collapse of communism and the fall of the wall in Berlin in 1989. He has covered four Presidential campaigns in the United States and reported on the first elections in Nepal and the death of Rajiv Ghandi in India. Brian has also covered political change in France, Germany and Italy as well as the first stirrings of unrest in Serbia and Kosovo.
In 2009, Brian was asked by Intelligent Life Magazine to return to Berlin to photograph the changes in that city 20 years after the fall of the wall, resulting in a 12 page photo-essay. See the entire edit.
Brian has received many awards for his work including the prestigious ’ What the Papers Say ’ Photographer of the Year award in 1990 for his work in Eastern Europe. He has had several solo exhibitions, notably at the Barbican Arts Centre and at Photofusion Gallery, both in London.
His work has been published in many books and he was a contributing photographer for the Council for the Protection of Rural England’s ‘Legacy’ project in the early 1990s.
In 2009 Brian was Chairman of the Press Photographers Year jury that judged more than 7,000 images before selecting those to exhibit at the National Theatre in London.
Brian has lectured on his personal photographic vision in the UK, Sweden, Spain and Ireland and has written for various magazines on editorial photographic ethics. BBC TV made three documentary programmes about his work and he has contributed to various BBC radio broadcasts including the ‘Moral Maze’, which he described as “terrifying”.
Brian now divides his time between commissioned editorial work; personal projects such as Kiss and the Wall; generic stock sold through Alamy and Rex Features and developing his growing Corporate client base who appreciate his quiet fly on the wall photographic style.
He photographed the final days of the London 2012 Olympic bid for Accenture and recently photographed several third way projects for Capacity Builders. He has worked for St Christopher’s Hospice where he photographed Care as well as for Pernod Ricard where he photographed two major Whisky launch campaigns. The Association of Accounting Technicians has just commissioned Brian to photograph their recruitment campaign in his own style.
Brian is represented by Melanie Grant at CRE8 for all corporate work.
He spent most of 2006 photographing the ‘Remembered’ project for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.