Years ago my dad showed me a book by a Magnum photographer called Paul Fusco. Fusco documented Bobby Kennedy's funeral train as it went from New York City to Arlington Cemetery, near Washington DC. The coffin was in the final coach, elevated and surrounded by glass for all to see. The crowds of Americans - of all colours, shapes and sizes - took people by surprise. The sheer numbers and their acute sense of trauma and misery was so beautifully and poignantly captured. Like all great works of art the images stuck in my mind.
In a way they remind me of some of the most powerful 9/11 photographs, which incidentally are often taken by Magnum photographers. Magnum were having their AGM downtown on 9/11, so the world's best photographers were gathered in Lower Manhattan that morning to witness the scenes of destruction.
When I learnt more about the social context of the RFK funeral train, I found the images even more fascinating. 1968 was a year that shook the confidence and self-belief of America - it was the year of the massacre at My Lai and the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a Black Power salute in the Mexico City Olympics in a gesture that is often taken as a start point in the ending of the non-violence preached by MLK. Then added to this, the senseless horror of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. You can see the pain on all the faces watching the funeral train go past.
For the first time ever these 52 images are being shown in London, at the Host Gallery.
It's on till the 13th April. It's the ability to see stuff like this that makes me love living in London.