I would like to publicly apologise for my involvement in the 2017 re-publication of a facsimile of a book originally published in 1969. The book – ‘London’ by Gian Butturini – contains a spread which is offensive and demeaning. Rightly, I have been receiving questions and complaints about me lending my name to the re-publication.
I would like to unreservedly apologise. That this spread escaped my notice is inexcusable. I am mortified that I have promoted this by the support I lent the book.
I know that more than just an apology is needed so I am taking the following actions:
- I have asked for the existing copies of this book to be removed from sale and destroyed.
- I am donating the fee I received for writing the introduction to the book to a relevant charity.
I am aware that I have a position of influence in the world of photography and have been reflecting on the fact that I have responsibilities, not just in my own work and what I say about it, but in how I curate, promote and write about the work of other people. I have undoubtedly made mistakes and I am truly sorry for these and for any offence caused.
The Martin Parr Foundation (MPF) is a charity that was set up to shine a light on photography, to give emerging, overlooked and under-represented photographers a platform, and to champion the work of artists from all backgrounds. Photography should be a place for everyone. These values matter greatly to me. I am committed to doing all I can to rectify and learn from the mistakes I have made, to make the MPF a more inclusive and therefore better organisation and to increase the diversity of the people we support and of our audience. We will soon be sharing the pledges we are making at the foundation to implement these values.