The global award in photography and sustainability

Chris Steele-Perkins

Christ Steele-Perkins was born in Burma in 1947, and moved to England with his father at the age of two. He went to school at Christ’s Hospital. At the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he studied psychology and worked for the student newspaper, graduating with honours in 1970 when he started working as a freelance photographer, finally moving to London in 1971. Apart from a trip to Bangladesh in 1973, he worked mainly in Britain in areas concerned with urban poverty and sub-cultures. In 1975 he worked with EXIT, a collective dealing with social problems in British cities. This work culminated in the book Survival Programmes in 1982. He joined the Paris-based Viva agency in 1976. In 1979, he published his first solo book, The Teds. He also edited, and purchased the images for The Arts Council of GB’s book, About 70 Photographs.

Steele-Perkins joined Magnum in 1979 and soon began working extensively in the developing world, in particular Africa, Central America and Lebanon, as well as continuing to document Britain. He published The Pleasure Principle, a work exploring Britain in the 1980s. In 1992 he published Afghanistan, the result of four trips over four years. After marrying his second wife, Miyako Yamada, he embarked on a long-term photographic exploration of Japan, publishing his first book of that work, Fuji, in 2000. A highly personal diary of 2001, Echoes, was published in 2003, and the second of his Japanese books, Tokyo Love Hello, was published in February 2007.

In contrast, a black and white study of English rural life, Northern Exposures, was published in summer 2007.

Selected Exhibitions

2005 Jan, Coast Exposed (group) National Maritime Museum, London
2005 Aug, Echoes, Leica Gallery, Tokyo
2005 Sept, Eurovisions, (group) Beaubourg, Paris
2007 July, Northern Exposures, Northumbria University Gallery.
2007. Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo.


Arts Council of Great Britain
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Photographers’ Gallery, London
Side Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Corcoran Gallery, Washington
National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
Bibliotheque National, Paris
FNAC, Paris
Tokyo Fuji Art Museum
National Portrait Gallery, London
National Museum of Film, Photography and Television, Bradford
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

Partial Bibliography

The Teds (1979)
About 70 Photographs, (editor, 1980)
La Grèce au Présent, (group, 1981)
Survival Programmes: In Britain’s Inner Cities (with Nicholas Battye and Paul Trevor, 1982)
Beirut: Front-line Story (1983)
The Pleasure Principle (1989)
St. Thomas Hospital (1992)