At the time of writing, my Masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography is drawing to a close and this book therefore forms one of my major outcomes, along with an exhibition and other material for dissemination. When I began this exercise my ideas were purely photographic in nature: portraits and environmental images would be linked together with archival material, underpinned with captions and put together as a portfolio.While interesting in itself, it quickly dawned on me that this would not be enough to allow for the heft of 35 years history to be communicated. It became clear to me that the recording of a set of textual histories would be necessary also, and that a book could be made. The exercise has drawn me closer once more to the ideals and ethos of the original thinking, and thinkers, behind the Co-op’s inception.
Steve Mepsted 2011