After a decade of travelling and living in Africa and then Paris, Magnum photographer Ian Berry conceived of The English as a project that would enable him to both document and rediscover the country in which he was born and grew up. “It seemed like a good idea to do something on the English before my eyes got too jaded,” Berry remembers whilst speaking to us about the project today. Returning to London in the mid-Sixties to become the first contract photographer for the Observer, he received a commission from the Whitechapel Gallery in 1972 to photograph the local area. His images capture the unique character of the East End and the diversity of its residents, both well-established and recent arrivals.
Pictured here, a sunny Sunday afternoon brings tourists and residents on to the hill overlooking Whitby harbour to relax and dream, 1974.