The Stop
Gareth McConnell / Iphgenia Baal


  • 68 pages / 41 colour plates
  • Softback
  • 6.9 x 12.2 in / 17.5 x 26 cm
  • Perfect bound
  • Artwork & sequence: Gareth McConnell
  • Text: Iphgenia Baal
  • Design & emojis: Kieron Livingston
  • ISBN: ISBN 978-1-7395964-5-3
  • Shipping / £5 UK / £10 Europe / £15 Worldwide
  • Shipped tracked & signed worldwide
  • All profits will be donated to charities providing food and medical aid to victims of war.


Press Release

The Stop
Gareth McConnell / Iphgenia Baal

Sorika is pleased to announce a new book The Stop by photographer Gareth McConnell and writer Iphgenia Baal. This new book is based on photographs McConnell took during the February 2003 London Stop The War Coalition demonstration, held against the war in Iraq. The demonstration was the largest ever held in the UK, with probably between 750,000 and two million people attending (neither police, media, or organiser estimates are sufficiently honest to be certain) and was part of an unprecedented, huge, world-wide series of demonstrations and anti-war events held on the same day.

In 2002 the then US President George W. Bush commenced to put in progress a plan for the invasion of Iraq, which was subject to the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. British Prime Minister Tony Blair supported Bush. The background context of US geo-political war ambitions included western oil interests, and the still recent 11th September 2001 World Trade Centre atrocity in New York. The London demonstration was organised by Stop the War Coalition, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Muslim Association of Great Britain, as well as many hundreds of other organisations, who affiliated themselves in a huge, unlikely, temporary unity.

McConnell's photographs are of young people present at the demonstration and are consistent with his previous series that explore youth culture. These series include youth allegiances to music, drugs, fashion, and political and social identifiers and causes. In The Stop attention is given to appearance, dress, body language, and signage, and to texts and markings on skin and clothing, this latter possibly a kind of folk art. Eyes are redacted, as McConnell feels it is a courtesy to do so. Occasional photographs from McConnell’s ongoing flowers series are included, as a retrospective memento mori – their transience gives emphasis to the over-two-decades years since the demonstration, and the fragile beauty of its young people, who are now middle aged.

Iphgenia Baal’s text is subversively sceptical, including of the value of the demonstration, which was unsuccessful in stopping the war. Baal rejects ideas of absolutist ethical goodness and puts forward a stylistically intense rejection of the usual liberal orthodoxies. In sort of a meditation on time, she describes similarities and differences in youth, digital, and social media culture, between the 2003 demonstration and the present, a period in which a whole new generation of youth and media has come into existence. Baal’s writing, situated within McConnell’s photographs, creates a sometimes reciprocating, sometimes conflicted, taking apart of the ideologies, visual codes, sentiments, passions, fears, hopes, dreams, and the successes and defeats of the demonstrating subject activists.

McConnell is celebrated for his photographic work whose unlikely spectrum of subjects includes youth, style and fashion, animals, psychedelia, sectarianism, nature, and the visual vocabularies of drug use and addiction. His recent projects include shows or publications about paramilitaries, restorative justice projects, and flowers. Recent book publications include Details Of Sectarian Murals (2024), and The Horses (2022). Shows include In The Shadow Of The Butterfly Bush at Ulster University Gallery (2024), The Brighter the Flowers, the Fiercer the Town at London’s Seen Fifteen gallery (2022), and a book and Ulster Museum show To The Beat of The Drum (2021).

Iphgenia Baal is the renowned author of Man Hating Psycho (2021), Merced Ez Benz (2016), and The Hardy Tree (2012). She was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize (2022) and has recently re-established her publishing project, AKA Books.

Book launch and signing - 4-5pm, Saturday 18th May, Sorika table, Off Print, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London. 

Press enquires -
Trade orders - Art Data

With thanks - Neal Brown


Read an excerpt from the text below... 


The mnemonic of the moment was WMD. You hear it every morning in the news, and every evening in the pub dick-joked into Weapons of Mass Dickstruction. 

Then, after a decade or so, you don’t hear it anymore. In the news it is replaced by jihad, or Islamist, and sometimes only Arab. And no one goes to the pub how they used to. Your local’s just not your local anymore, is it?

Preparations from first light

Silhouetted officers patrol empty cordoned-off streets

In the frosty air early morning, political warm-up acts

On the steps of Whitehall a man strums an acoustic guitar

Peace, peace, peace, peace,
let’s start talkin’ peace

The important thing about this mnoronic moment, this 15 February 2003, is that it was (yet another) End of Something and Beginning of Something Else. It was neither The Very End nor An Absolute Beginning. It was mid-pivot. Maybe the epicentre of the spin. The “About, face!” Or maybe it had already started its reverse spin-out, building up a headscarf of steam for This Exact Moment, now, or The Next Moment Yet (always hard to tell, when you’re in The Moment, which exact moment it is). 

Iphgenia Baal