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Arts & Culture

Open for Business

Magnum photographers explore and document the success stories, large and small, that reflect Britain’s changing industrial and cultural heritage in the wake of increasing pressure from globalization

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Open for Business Open for Business exhibition, Magnum photographers looking at British manufacturing. Image courtesy of National Media Museum. National Media Museum. Bradford, England, UK. 2015.
Open for Business Open for Business exhibition, Magnum photographers looking at British manufacturing. Image courtesy of National Media Museum. National Media Museum, Bradford, UK . 2015.
Stuart Franklin | Open for Business Renewable energy. The Sound of Hoy in the Orkney Islands generates some of the biggest waves in the UK. This wave energy is being harnessed by Pelamis Wave machines. The Old Man of Hoy in the backg (...)
Chris Steele-Perkins | Open for Business Vispring, Plymouth, UK. Hand built mattresses. Group with "encased coil springs". From Left, Steve Willcox, then Jon Harris, Simon Andrews and, right, Pete Turner. 2013. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
David Hurn | Open for Business Cardiff Theatrical Services Ltd. Front gauze for Lohengrin. 2013. © David Hurn | Magnum Photos
Bruce Gilden | Open for Business Employee at Alcatel. UK, 2013. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Jonas Bendiksen | Open for Business At Calder Dyeing, steam and water drops surround Trevar Rowe as he tends to a dyeing vat. Dewsbury, UK. 2013. © Jonas Bendiksen | Magnum Photos
Peter Marlow | Open for Business 'Open for Business' is the largely untold story of British manufacturing and industry through the lens of the world's greatest photographers Magnum Photos. Organised by the arts organisation multi- (...)
Alessandra Sanguinetti | Open for Business Siemens. Trudi Madden is a canteen cashier at the Siemens Congleton plant in Cheshire. The canteen supplies meals for the it's 500 employees. UK. 2013. © Alessandra Sanguinetti | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Open for Business Bombardier. Train production.

From 'Open for Business'. Derby, UK. March 2013. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Martin Parr | Open for Business Aardman Animations. Bristol, UK. 2013. © Martin Parr | Magnum Photos

In 2013, Multistory and Magnum Photos commissioned nine of the world’s leading photographers to document contemporary British manufacturing. During a period of great economic instability, and where questions are being raised about the strength of western economies within the worldwide market, there has never been a more relevant time to explore the condition of Britain’s manufacturing future.

During a period of significant economic instability, and where questions are being raised about the strength of western economies within the worldwide market, there has never been a more relevant time to explore the condition of Britain’s manufacturing future.

The photographs demonstrate the wider impact globalization has had on production and process. Magnum’s UK photographers, Stuart Franklin, David Hurn, Peter Marlow, Martin Parr, Mark Power and Chris Steele-Perkins, alongside three international photographers Alessandra Sanguinetti (Argentina), Bruce Gilden (America) and Jonas Bendiksen (Norway) have visited over one hundred workplaces across the UK ranging from one-man businesses to FTSE 100 companies.

Their photographs take us from traditional, handmade crafts to modern, intelligent automation; from foundries and assembly lines to research laboratories and high-tech cleanrooms, showing an economic sector of extraordinary resistance and diversity.

The work was presented in a touring exhibition, giveaway newspaper, film interviews with the photographers and a website: Open For Business