1. British photographer Derek Ridgers spent more than a decade documenting the hedonistic world of London’s club scene in the ’70s and ’80s.
“Clubs have always been about … tribes, word of mouth, clothes, hair, dancing, positing, getting high, all the teenage tropes,” he writes in his collection of photos from that period, 78 — 87 London Youth, out now on Damiani Press.
At a moment when England was struggling with miners’ strikes, IRA bombings and general civil unrest, the club scene offered a heady respite, a chance to escape everyday banality and elevate into something different, something special.
4. The result was something new and unorthodox.
5. And something wholly beautiful in its own right.
6. Ridgers chronicled the scene for magazines like NME and The Face.
His photos have also been featured in Time Out, The Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, and GQ, among others.
7. Ridgers told BuzzFeed that he’s always been careful to maintain a distance from his subjects.
8. “It was very much a part of my process that I was essentially just an observer,” he said.
15. Ridgers’ next book, Skinheads 1979-1984, will be out this July.
16. For more on Ridgers and his amazing catalogue, check out DerekRidgers.com.
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