James Franciscus – describing the spontaneous segregation of the actors that occurred during the filming of Beneath the Planet of the Apes in 1969.
“During lunch I looked up and realized, my God, here is the universe, because at one table were all the orangutans eating, at another table were the apes, and at another table were the humans. The orangutan characters would not eat or mix with the ape characters, and the humans wouldn’t sit down and eat with any one of them. I remember saying, ‘Look around — do you realize what’s happening here? This is a little isolated microcosm of probably what’s bugging the whole world. Call it prejudice or whatever you want to call it. Whatever is different is to be shunned or it’s frightening or so forth.’ Nobody was intermingling, even though they were all humans underneath the masks. The masks were enough to bring out our own little genetic natures of fear and prejudice. It was startling.”
The little anecdote above is a chilling reminder of mankind’s natural tendency to segregate itself into groups and create a culture based on ‘them and us’. It is self-evident that we are all ‘us’ and there is no ‘them’ other than one that we have drawn in our own minds and painted with our prejudice. Across the world a storm of intolerance is raging, with people’s basic human rights being eroded on a daily basis – this is why it is so important that London sets an example of support for the Pride movement and opens its arms to everyone without recourse to preconceptions. Once it is accepted that we are all ‘us’ then everything should change – whether this will happen in my lifetime I remain unsure.
It was with this in mind that I headed down to Pride in London 2014 to give my support to all of those taking part in what is an essential statement to those areas in the world that are mired in the swamp of intolerance and bigotry. I would urge everyone to consider doing the same if we are to send a message to the world that prejudice and civilisation are mutually exclusive concepts.
If you are a budding photographer and want a chance to practise your photography while giving support to this important cause while interacting with some great people you should go along to the next Pride procession in your town. This was the first time I had tried to photograph the procession using the new Fuji X-T1 and I can confirm for all that it is indeed weather-sealed as I was soaked within minutes of arrival – the camera did not miss a beat. A few tips for photographing something like this include getting the settings right on the camera up front (I set the default lowest shutter speed to 1/200 to freeze the action and shot all of the shots wide open to reduce the depth of field).
I have posted a gallery of photographs from the day below and wish all of the participants my very best. If your photo appears here and you would like it to be removed or want a high resolution copy for your own use please let me know and I will oblige. All photographs taken on a Fuji X-T1 with 55-200mm Fujinon lens.