Black Black Friday
Black Black Friday
By:, Categories: Words & Images, 2 comments



From personal experience of over a decade living in America, there’s one US import we don’t need: Black Friday. This is a phenomenon reserved for the last Friday of November and the day after Thanksgiving, when every retail store in the country offers one-day-only deals to herald the start of the Christmas season. The day the retail industry finally break even, or go “into the black”.


But it has become almost like a capitalist mini-version of The Hunger Games – actually, the more I think about it, I’m becoming more and more convinced The Hunger Games was inspired by Black Friday. It pits shoppers against each other to secure the first of the holiday deals – but the reality is fist fights over toasters, screaming fits over cut-price calculators, people being knocked over in the ensuing bedlam, and men waiting for three days in the cold for plasma TVs.


And all part of the blatant over-commercialisation of Christmas, as big business gets us to flex the plastic for evermore spiralling debt. And unfortunately, it’s creeping here into the UK as we speak. Looking around Glasgow yesterday, stores are trying to entice customers to spend, spend, spend with big black signs announcing it to be “Black Friday” – and all encouraged by large US conglomerates that are the parent companies of the UK stores.


America is a lost cause regarding Black Friday – but in the UK, there’s hope. There’s the counter-movement “Buy Nothing Day”, which encourages you to embark on a 24-hour shopping detox instead of rushing to the shops. Their credo is simple: “Lock up your wallets and purses, cut up your credit cards and dump the love of your life – shopping!”


Which gives us a nice segue into today’s photo from the archives: my first Black Friday experience in downtown Seattle, where I witnessed the birth of a small anti-consumer group that sprang up from nowhere and surprised everyone. And each year since, I get numerous request via Flickr from many campaigners asking if they can use it; and this week was no different.  “Feel free – anything that helps to Black Black Friday,” I say to everyone and anyone.


Leica M6 Classic & 1.4/50mm Summilux pre-asph v.3
Fuji Provia 400X
Developed & scanned by Panda Lab