How London got ready for its close-up, just before this week’s riots

Earlier this summer, the London Street Photography Festival sent six photographers out to shoot various locations in the city. Six videographers tagged along and filmed the interactions that ensued. The result—a 16-minute film called Stand Your Ground—gives us a fascinating look at the privatization of our public spaces.

All six of the photographers were especially careful to stand on public ground. All six drew the attention of private security guards. In three cases, the police were called out; happily, the cops were on the photographers’ side each time. And yet the film is disturbing. Watching it this week, we couldn’t help but see the encounters as eerie preludes of the riots we’ve been reading so much about.

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