Photos That Prove Punk Didn't Die in the 80s
'Still Screaming' is a traveling photography exhibition showing rare and unseen images of seminal punk bands from the late 80s onward.
Still Screaming is a traveling photography exhibition curated by Mark Beemer that documents the history of punk from the late 80s and onward. The show has already begun its run in Philadelphia at Arch Enemy Arts and will soon go on to DC, New York, LA, Detroit, Oakland, and Seattle. This weekend will be the last chance for Philadelphians to see it before it hits the road, and its previously unseen views of now-beloved punk artists make it well worth your time. Below is a selection of some of our favorite images and an explanation from Beemer about how the show came about.
For Christmas in 1977, my parents gave me The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl LP. I loved that double record. I played it endlessly, memorizing every note, every moment, and especially, every inch of the insert photographs. Each record was sleeved in a full-bleed image of a group of fans losing their collective minds for the four lads from Liverpool. I wanted to know everything about those fans: the moments each photo was taken, the song they were hearing, and why the photographer chose them to canonize. I knew then that I wanted to be part of the world that determined how moments were presented.
I saw my first punk show on May 9, 1986; Marginal Man, Government Issue, and the Slickee Boys ushered me into a world where the rules were different, the stakes were higher, and anyone could be anything. I couldn't get enough.
In 1990, I started to bring my camera everywhere to document everything I saw. Back then, punk shows were a perfect avenue for a young photographer to really learn everything: how to focus in near pitch-black conditions, change a roll of film while you are dripping with sweat, how to avoid the huge 300-pound skinhead stage-diving, and mostly how to capture a moment in time that will tell the entire story.
Over the course of nearly three decades, I have shared the stage with countless talented photographers, all skilled at capturing moments and telling stories. When I conceived Still Screaming I knew I would not have issue finding shooters to join, I just needed the right ones. I chose photogs who all shot transitional points in HC punk. The straightforward hardcore scene of the late 80s, the birth of emo punk in the early 90s, the rise of punk bands in the late 90s, and the new era of the 00s—it's all represented in this show by these seven talented photographers.
For more on the show, go here.