Chris Steele-Perkins. Magnum Photographer


Chris Steele-Perkins

1949 - From Rangoon to London

Chris Steele-Perkins moved from Rangoon to London with his family in 1949. He graduated with honours in psychology at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1967-70) while working as a photographer and picture editor for the student newspaper. In 1971 he moved to London and started working as a freelance photographer and started his first foreign work in 1973 in Bangladesh followed by work for relief organizations and travel assignments. In 1975 he worked with EXIT, a group dealing with social problems in British cities. He then joined the Paris-based Viva agency in 1976.

1979 - The Teds

1979 - The Teds

In 1979, his first book, The Teds, was published. Chris joined Magnum and soon began working extensively in the Third World. His latest large-scale project in the developing world was on the situation in Afghanistan. He�is now also working extensively in Japan and England.

Kaha Kama

The Awards - Public acclaim

His reportages have received high public acclaim and have won several awards, including:

  • 'The Tom Hopkinson Prize' for British Photojournalism (1988)
  • 'The Oscar Barnack Prize' (1988)
  • 'The Robert Capa Gold Medal' (1989)
  • 'Cooperative Society Award' & 'One World Award',
    for the film 'Dying for Publicity' (1994)
  • 'La Nacion Premier Photojournalism Award' (1994)
  • World Press Award, 'Daily Life' (2000)
  • Sasakawa Foundation Grant (2004, 2011)
  • Royal Photographic Society Terrence Donovan Award (2008)
  • Arts Council GB Award (2010)
England, My England

Recent Works

Now out in UK, his new book on centenarians (people who have lived to be over 100 years old): Fading Light. Recent book, England, My England, of English photographs - McNidder & Grace -.
This is a very personal retrospective of work shot in England over the last 40 years. See some images in Books on this site.

A place in the Country

A place in the Country


Latest book to be published by Dewi Lewis. "A place in the Country". Chris spent a year documenting the cycle of life in a great English country estate, Holkham, in north Norfolk. A unique photographic record of a year in the life of an English Country House Estate. Throughout a year, Magnum photographer, Chris Steele-Perkins photographed at Holkham Hall, a 23,000 acre estate set on the Norfolk coast with a history stretching back to the 1700s. He photographed not only the various activities there, from hunting and shooting through to concerts and weddings, but also the groups of workers that form the backbone of day to day life on the Estate. Holkham combines tradition with more contemporary activities such as pop and classical concerts, and businesses such as the rental and sale of holiday caravans. It was this mix of past and present, alongside the fact that the Hall was a lived-in family home, that most interested Steele-Perkins. For him the challenge was to look at the reality of Holkham, and explore where that reality overlapped with the clichés we cling to. Country estates bedevil the British imagination, and much of the rest of the world’s too. Perhaps this is not surprising given that they feature in so many of our novels, historical films and TV dramas – Downton Abbey for example, or Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. The focus of these fictional accounts, however, is almost always resolutely fixed on the past, yet the estates themselves continue. They are institutions with both a past and a future. Whilst there are many photographic projects on country life – from hunting through to country house gardens or the art collections – there is very little that gives a rounder view of life on an estate. An estate is more than an old house, it is a farm, a business, an eco-system, a community, a venue, a confluence of history – a world in microcosm.

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