Picturing the Financial Elite: Who are the City of London?

by Hanna Malka

Isn’t it interesting how the financial elite (of places like City of London) can be so involved in bringing about a crisis affecting the entire global economy, and yet we do not know who they are? News stories focus on people suffering from the financial crisis, yet we know next to nothing about those behind it.

The Guardian has recently featured pictures by a group of photographers who have started to document these powerful financiers, creating representation where there has been none by showing the faces of these individuals. Daniel Mayrit has created portraits of the 100 most powerful people in the City from publicly available images and information about their earnings and possible involvement in scandals. To highlight the potential criminality of this elite, he has retouched the pictures to look as if taken by a CCTV camera, not unlike how pictures of young “delinquents” involved in the Brixton riots in 2011 were circulated by the police.

Working in a similar vein, Martin Parr has managed to secure access to one of the most guarded secrets of the financial world, the City of London within London itself, and has documented life within this closed and unprecedentedly powerful community. Martin Parr’s pictures will be shown at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London from 4 March – 16 July 2016.

Hanna Malka is a student on the MA in the Social Anthropology of the Global Economy at the University of Sussex.

*Photo © Daniel Mayrit, You Haven’t Seen Their Faces.




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