The Struggle for Existence

In 2013 I was asked to clear the studio of a photographer who had died. His widow was moving house and everything had to go or be thrown out. We put guillotines, cutting mats and apparatus to good use in classes and among the slides that were being thrown out were these images of the Queen’s coronation in 1953 and also images of butterflies. They seemed to be making links between species, breeding, hierarchy and natural selection.

When Boris Johnson  delivered his resignation speech in 2022 to the sound of distant jeers he referred disparigingly to the herd moving as if a purely individualistic approach to co-existence would have been more forgiving of his misdemeanours. He followed this up with reference to “Our great Darwinian system”. Clearly positioning himself against Peter Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid and Darwin’s later reference’s to natural selection being one of many factors in evolutionary theory.