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Over the last four years Martin Parr has been working on a commission for Multistory photographing the Black Country. It was an area he knew little of, other than its reputas a densely populated, post-industrial area; one in decline. Many of the industries that once made the Black Country great have declined, but numerous small factories and manufacturing businesses remain in good health. A degree of regenerhas also come as a result of the many immigrant communities that have made the Black Country their home. The region is now populated with many different communities.
Parr has explored workplaces, temples, churches, shops, clubs, societies, markets, temples, factories, social clubs, tea dances, and dog training classes, among others. The images capture and celebrate the unique mix of communities living in the area as well as existing, traditional Black Country life. For Parr, it was a welcome return to the notion of being a community photographer—connecting to the community, giving back prints to the subjects and ensuring that the photographs are shown locally before being launched on an International stage.
Signed and dated by Martin Parr.