Art: Images of the Bristol counterculture, by photographer Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith is one of Bristol’s unsung photographic heroes. Since moving here in the early 1990s, Matthew has been tirelessly documenting aspects of Bristol’s art, music, festivals and activism – from the inside.
He’s now launched a Kickstarter fund to publish his first book Exist to Resist, a photographic record of the 1990s’ “lost freedom of festivals, free parties and protest”. The book will feature images shot within Bristol itself, alongside others showing the city’s influence on counterculture and resistance across the country.
From raves under the Suspension Bridge to early Ashton Court free festivals, and from anti-roadbuilding protests at Solsbury Hill near Bath to opposition to the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (which outlawed raves and certain forms of dance music), Matthew has compiled a unique document of Bristol’s counterculture, activism, and music and arts scenes across two decades. As such, his book deserves to see the light of day.
To support Matthew’s Kickstarter fund, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/193212579/exist-to-resist-activism-history-and-having-it/description
To view further samples of Matthew’s work, visit www.mattkoarchive.com
Pictured top: scene from the third anti-Criminal Justice Act march, London, October 9, 1994