England 70-80: How the French Think about England 30 Years Ago

Before the English Channel Tunnel was officially opened for passengers on November 14, 1994, heading to England meant a ferry ride across the Channel from France, including the period between 1970s and 80s when French photographer Gil Rigoulet went to England by sea. However, there was no Channel Tunnel back then. Ferries were often chock-a-block.

On that long trip, food trays topped with fish and chips, duty-free liquor... Rocked by a festive ambiance, all made for a quick crossing. Occasionally, seasickness forced everyone to the ship's rail where the smartest among us quickly assessed the direction of the wind...

It was in Gil Rigoulet's 20 years old. Great Britain's attraction for him was that of a remote planet. And Gil Rigoulet took photos for himself that he would fine-tune his gaze; look for the right distance, the right moment. At the meantime, he was looking for words, for a language that could describe such exotic Anglo-Saxon society...

Photographer made this pilgrimage every year, up until the end of the 80s. These priceless photos sat in his archives for 30 years but they are the very foundation of his work as a photo reporter. They allowed photographer to shape his own eye, to assert his photography, to open a dialogue about life with humor and compassion and to get a glimpse at where the rituals of these societies would lead us to...

Gil Rigoulet look at these images with joy and feel once again the wind of freedom that used to blow through his head and through that entire era.

It is conceivable that when loads of French landed in England from such a long ferry trip at that time, they must feel like they were discovering a whole new world with completely different people, cars, and customs. Although most photos that Gil Rigoulet captured are in black-and-white, they still and even strongly narrate stories to viewers on by one...

(All copyrights reserved to Gil Rigoulet)






>> Gallery: England 70-80

>> Photographer: Gil Rigoulet




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