Down the London Tubes


Paul Baldesare

All the photographs and texts are copyrighted

Between 1987-1995 Baldesare photographed people in transmit on the London Underground and at London's major long distance bus station - Victoria Coach Station. Many of these pictures were taken candidly so as not to disturb or influence the subjects, and to heighten the 'sense of the everyday' in a way that is identifiable now and in the future as a documentary record.

Down the Tubes

The images shown here were taken over a three year period on the London Underground.

Returning to London after a three year absence I felt that the Underground had become a microcosm of modern day London with its overcrowding and often tense and claustrophobic environment, dilapidated stations, broken lifts and escalators and patchwork renovation work acting as a backdrop to the overcrowded trains and fitful service.

These pictures were taken around the time of the King's Cross disaster - an major underground fire in one of London's main underground stations which caused multiple deaths and injuries. The threat of fire was not the only safety worry; fear of violence was becoming a real worry or a sizeable minority of travellers, particularly women.

The discomfort will often show in the body and facial movements of the passengers. Travelling on the underground seems to create a that vacuum of mind and soul. People lie, perch and hang to gain greater comfort from the often stressful journey.

The pictures shown here are a selection taken from two hundred images chosen and printed from the same number of films.

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