Parr shows that fear of immigration through a subtle metaphor in his photograph of Porthcurno beach in Cornwall. A group of people look to the sea, as if to distant lands, while a woman holding a child puts her hand to her mouth as she glances towards a red danger flag. “There’s just one little child looking back at the camera, and he’s sort of the future of Britain,” said Prodger.
Parr’s work may portend an uncertain future, but looking through his older work, it’s hard to miss the warning signs of what was to come.
His series of Britons abroad—particularly in post-colonial societies where their privilege is uncomfortably evident—reveal a desire to hold onto a past that never really existed: a fantasy past of afternoon teas and Sunday cricket, where Britain reigned supreme.