Suffering for one’s art

January 20, 2012

The police started taking surveillance photos of dodgy types 100 years ago, when in 1912 Scotland Yard got their first camera. Like many keen amateurs, they turned their attentions straight to the ladies and started compiling suspect sheets of Suffragettes. This pose by Manchester’s Evelyn Manesta looks a little forced until you realise the Special Branch camera club had already started ‘touching up’ their work. Manesta declined the offer of a free portrait session, so was held around the neck by a prison guard. With a keen eye to public relations, photo-plod removed the offending arm in the finished product.
More of this Suffragette surveillance  can be found here.


  1. I should like to use a rude word for the police photographers and police of the time, but being a lady, I shan’t. I’ll just call them pricks. The poor woman…..

  2. You might also wish to save your rudest words for what is going on today with the police using photography as a weapon.

    The British Police have Forward Intelligence Teams who seem to spend a lot of their time harassing journalists and any subversive elements (i.e. anyone who might be in a position to record some of the police’s less lawful activities).


  3. Our constitution has usually protected us from treatment like that, but there have been periods where it has been rudely abused in the name of justice. We have periodic abuses by police, but they are caught now and then. Here’s an article on one of the worst offenses in our country’s history-and during one of it’s worst disasters. Article is from the L.A, Times last summer: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/05/nation/la-na-katrina-bridge-shooting-20110806
    Things are rough all over the world with the police aren’t they?

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