Preston is My Paris

Preston is My Paris Publishing
Founded 2009
Founders Adam Murray and Robert Parkinson
Country of origin UK
Official website

Preston is My Paris Publishing (PPP) is a photography-based project that creates publications, site-specific installations, live events, digital applications, education, writing, talks[1] and workshops.[2][3] It was started in 2009 by Adam Murray (born 1983, Loughborough) and Robert Parkinson (born 1986, Burnley) as a photocopied zine with the intention of encouraging the exploration of Preston as a subject for creative practice and to focus more attention on the city.[4][5][6] It has been described as "politically and photographically aware",[7] "photographing and publishing a view of a disregarded, ordinary Britain"[4] "in a playful way".[5]

It has self-published numerous publications in zine, newspaper and book formats, which have been included in exhibitions and are held in public collections at the Tate Library, Fotomuseum Winterthur Collection, Manchester Metropolitan University Artists’ Books Special Collection, London College of Communication Special Collection and National Art Library.


Adam Murray and Robert Parkinson started Preston is My Paris to inspire interest in Preston, Lancashire, because they "noticed a distinct lack of creative work in the city and likewise work that featured the city as a focal point."[8] Between 2009 and 2011 they self-published and gave away for free a mostly monthly series of photocopied zines with original contemporary documentary photographs, found imagery, objects and writing related to the city. They called it Preston is My Paris after a TV commercial for Clarks shoes.[8] Jamie Hawkesworth was later occasionally involved in the project.[9]

It went on to publish a series in zine and newspaper formats under the name Preston is My Paris Publishing "documenting aspects of Britain in a quirky English way. Inspired by the French novelist Georges Perec's interest in 'little pieces of everydayness'".[4] It used cheap or vernacular print formats and lower end print production such as photocopying and newspaper to make them more accessible, given away for free or sold at low cost. It expanded into site-specific installations, live events, digital applications, education, writing, talks and workshops.

In 2010 it held a fashion shoot using only clothes from local shops and markets, models scouted on the street in Preston, and an empty unit in a run-down shopping centre for an ad-hoc photography studio and gallery.[5][10][11] They used fashion imagery "because it's so widely accessible" and "also wanted to address the way the North is presented in fashion photography." Murray said "Fashion is about so much more than a few fashionable people in London, ... It's peoples' identity and self-expression." The resulting zine, Denim, was considered by the British Journal of Photography to be "an arresting 14-page story".[5]

Also in 2010 Murray, Parkinson and Hawksworth spent several weeks in Preston bus station, photographing the architecture and its community of users[9][12] (mostly young disadvantaged teenagers) because it was scheduled for demolition. They set up a project space for a weekend in a disused shop there. The project engaged the community and the subsequent zine that they gave away for free, Preston Bus Station, became a tool in the successful campaign to save the bus station. Preston Bus Station became collectible in the art photography scene.[12]


Parr and Badger include You could be in London, You could be in Vegas, But you’re in Brierfield (2010) and Thank you for travelling with Northern Rail (2012) in the third volume of their photobook history.[4] The former publication was described by The Daily Telegraph in its weekly feature highlighting a photo book.[13] Jason Evans, writing in Photoworks Issue 16, gave the project's publications and strategy a favourable review, he said it was "a refreshing position on politically and photographically aware self-publishing".[7] Preston is my Paris was Dazed and Confused magazine's 'Zine of the Month' in February 2010.[14]


Other media

Contributions to publications


Solo exhibitions

Exhibitions with contributions by Preston is My Paris


See also


  1. This Mass Observation is a UK publishing company set up in 2009 by Theo Simpson and Ben Maclaughlin, not the Mass-Observation of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s
  2. The contents are available here at the Preston is My Paris Soundcloud page
  3. A PDF copy is available here at the University of Central Lancashire web site
  4. A PDF copy is available here at the University of Central Lancashire web site


  1. Ritson, A (11 November 2014). "Adam Murray on 'The Constructed North' @ NEPN Photo-Book Market". North East Photography Network. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  2. Whitehead, Oliver (13 October 2012). "Zine Making Workshop". Photoworks. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  3. "Brighton Photo Biennial - Make Your Own Zine Workshop". Lighthouse. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Parr, Martin; Badger, Gerry (2014). The Photobook: A History, Volume III. London: Phaidon. pp. 107, 133. ISBN 978-0-7148-6677-2.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Projects:Personal:Adam Murray & Robert Parkinson". British Journal of Photography. Incisive Financial Publishing Limited. 157 (7780): 26. 2010.
  6. "The Photobook & Photography Now". Tate. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  7. 1 2 Evans, Jason (2011). "Alex F. Webb & Lewis Chaplin: I am Julian Assange: Reviewed by Jason Evans". Photoworks. Photoworks (16): 80. ISBN 978-1-903796-33-7.
  8. 1 2 "Preston Is My Paris". Art Licks. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  9. 1 2 Ceschel, Bruno (2011). "i Publish". Foam Magazine. Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam (29): 24–25.
  10. 1 2 "Add your bit to the city's heritage trail – and tale". Lancashire Evening Post. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  11. 1 2 "Putting the Pride into Preston". Lancashire Life. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  12. 1 2 May Johnson, Rebecca (27 February 2015). "The Creative Class: Jamie Hawkesworth, Photographer". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  13. "You could be in Vegas, You Could Be in London...". The Daily Telegraph. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  14. "Zine of the Month". Dazed & Confused. Waddell Limited. 2 (82). 2010.
  15. "Preston Is My Paris". CNET. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  16. "Preston is my Paris presents PIE (mp3)". Apple Inc. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  17. "Minutes of the PSP cultural forum held at the Guild Hall on Thursday, 28 January 2010 meeting no 60". Preston City Council. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  18. "Four Versions of Three Routes". Brighton Photo Biennial. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  19. "Preston is My Paris". Jerusalem Season of Culture. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  20. "Always better to be hard". Caustic Coastal. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  21. "Self Publish, Be Happy Weekend". Photographers' Gallery. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  22. "PiY / MABA, Nogent (Septembre 2010): publishityourself". PIY. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  23. 1 2 "Archizines". Architectural Association School of Architecture. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  24. "Brighton Photo Fringe Open '11: North Gallery". Brighton Photo Fringe. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  25. Hall, Duncan (19 November 2011). "Brighton Photo Fringe Open '11, Phoenix Brighton, Waterloo Place". The Argus (Brighton). Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  26. "Program". C/O. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  27. "Everything is About to Happen". Corvi-Mora. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  28. "Don't Stop Now: Fashion Photography Next". Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  29. "The Library Vaccine: September 25 – November 16, 2014". Artists Space. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  30. "Tate Library Catalogue". Tate. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  31. [[mode]=list&tx_plattform_pi1[phid]=291&tx_plattform_pi1[L]=1 "Murray & Parkinson"] Check |url= value (help). Fotomuseum Winterthur. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
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