Chris Steele-Perkins travelled to the Japanese city of Obama (‘small beach’) in 2008, the year that Barack Obama was running for US president. In 2006, Barack Obama, then a Senator of Hawaii, had landed in Japan on a political visit and noted the similarity of his name and Obama city. Locals soon formed an Obama support committee. T-shirts were printed, ties manufactured, support rallies held, and the ‘Obama Girls’, a 70 strong local Hula dancing group started giving performances. The ‘Obama for Obama’ campaign was launched. Pictured here, a view of the harbour from Obama city, 2008.

Everything shifts as you move, and different things come into focus at different points of your life, and you try to articulate that

Chris Steele-Perkins
© 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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