“England is a strange place – funny, complex and sad. Distance yourself from it, experience other cultures, then look again. That strangeness becomes almost overwhelming,” Steele-Perkins says of his work The Pleasure Principle. In the 1980s the Burmese-British photographer set about capturing England and its people at a seminal moment, representing a powerful and perceptive view of a country during the eighties. Pictured here, a landscape in Cumbria, England. 1989.

© Chris Steele-Perkins| Magnum Photos

Chris Steele-Perkins was born in 1947 in Rangoon, Burma and at the age of two, moved to England with his father. At the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he studied psychology and worked for the student newspaper; he graduated with honors in 1970 and started to work as a freelance photographer, moving to London in 1971.

Steele-Perkins has produced some of the most iconic images of British society in the last half century, exploring youth subcultures, poverty and community with artful sensitivity. His more than 45-year career has seen him travel widely, making significant bodies of work in his home country of Myanmar, as well as Japan, Africa and Afghanistan, all of which have received critical acclaim.

Steele-Perkins became a member of Magnum Photos in 1979 and continues to work in Britain and abroad.

© Chris Steele-Perkins| Magnum Photos

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