The epic photographic tableaux vivants by Red Saunders – or ‘single-frame movies’ referring to their cinematic scale and qualities – recreate momentous but overlooked events from Britain’s struggle for democracy and equality, from the Peasants Revolt of 1381 to the Chartist movement of the 1840s. Focusing on the contributions of unknown men and women rather than the monarchs and ‘Great Men’ that dominate official history, Saunders seeks to shed light on the parallel ‘hidden history’ of revolutionaries and radicals. Each scene is carefully planned and lit, using costumed models and a team of volunteers behind the camera. Together, they suggest photographic ‘evidence’ for events that occurred before the widespread adoption of camera technology, giving new life to important episodes of working people’s history.
“Red Saunders’ Hidden project is a most imaginative idea, allowing us to visualize the key moments in the long struggle of working people for democracy and social justice, a struggle which the establishment has tried so hard to conceal from us.”
– Tony Benn