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Whalley photographer explores the world of life's outsiders
A WHALLEY journalist has released a thought-provoking new book containing interviews with some controversial figures.
Garry Cook has compiled Outsiders, a book of 20 interviews and portrait photographs on diverse themes such as religion, war and racism.
Featuring transcripts of chats with BNP chairman Nick Griffin while he was canvassing for local elections in Burnley and Padiham, a transsexual dominatrix and a British soldier injured by friendly fire among others, Garry said he was keen to explore issues usually shunned by society.
He said: “My aim has been to present stories and people’s experiences in an open and as honest way as possible, enabling people to evaluate subjects they may have preconceived ideas about.
“We all judge and pre-judge people but through some fantastic stories I want Outsiders to help us look at our own thought processes and behaviours, however distasteful some of these may be.”
Garry, of Mitton Road, said one of his most interesting experiences while gathering material was meeting a mid-American family, who are part of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church and were extremely homophobic.
Garry, 37, said: “It was amazing to interview the family. They are the perfect, wholesome American family, I have never been treated so well. They are so nice and loving to each other.
“But then they start talking about religion and it becomes a bit hard to stomach.”
Garry said he was also shocked by some of the things he came across while spending the day with Mr Griffin.
He said: “It was strange, a lot of people who were standing in the local elections were doing it for really good reasons.
“But they have adopted this stance and you wonder how they have ended up there.
“Mr Griffin had these big burly bouncers with him and it was certainly an education.
“A lot of things he said to me were quite normal and then he just hit you with this extreme stuff.”
Outsiders is available to buy now from Amazon or Garry’s website www.gazcook.com
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