Just after the 2011 London riots, the police were wary of Rawlings' interest, but he suspects it was his lack of a political agenda that eventually persuaded them to agree. "I was looking at it from an artistic angle as opposed to journalistic," the photographer says. "I was drawn to the landscapes of the space itself. Plus I was fresh out of university, so my student status made me much less threatening."
Dressed in full riot gear, the officers in training were to separate a mob played by senior officers in civilian clothing in five intersecting streets, complete with facades. "It was quite intense," Rawlings says. "They would really antagonise them and get them riled, as a riot mob would. There was no holding back. They threw a range of projectiles, too - glass bottles, wooden bricks, molotov cocktails. There is no other way of preparing them other than making it as real as possible." To ensure the officers' anonymity, Rawlings had to shoot the scenes in a sweeping way: "No one could be singled out," he says of his project titled Control.
The access furthered Rawling's interest in spaces where conflict is simulated, a theme he had started to explore in his first project, Contrived. "I'd really like to shoot a counter-terror training facility, but the levels of security makes that practically impossible," he says. "But you never know
- I'll keep trying."
Control is part of
Most Popular Stories
- Toxic Algae Threatens Florida Fishing, Tourism
- Hispanic Groups Lead Voter Registration Drive
- Eva Mendes Gives Birth to a Baby Girl
- Plus-Size iPhones Live Up to The Hype
- Fed Signals It Will Keep Key Rate at Record Low
- FedEx Adding 50,000 Holiday Jobs
- Stocks Rise Before Fed Statement
- Occupy Wall Street Buys Up Student Debt
- Cool Features on Today's New iOS 8
- Kohl's Hiring 67,000 for the Holidays