Photography has become a crucial part of the way that we communicate with each other every day, a kind of language of its own. How, then, can this global language be used in a way that unites communities and champions positive change?
Culture Shifts: Local presents collaboratively produced photography from eight socially engaged photography projects across Liverpool. The work demonstrates how photography as an art practice can be used to help communities define themselves, bridge cultural divides and communicate the vital issues of today.
The projects are all part of the citywide, long-term Culture Shifts project. Each of the eight projects involves select photographers working alongside one or more groups, including a support and services network for women of colour, residents of Granby Four Streets in Toxteth (site of the infamous riots in ‘81, and home of the Turner prize-winning Assemble project in 2015), people living with dementia, and youth groups dedicated to LGBT+ support and Youth Parliament.
A selection of the work will be presented at Open Eye Gallery throughout Autumn 2017, with an additional solo offsite exhibition for each project in a space in the neighbourhood of each community featured: a total of eight exhibitions.
Unlike documentary photography, the staging, selection and production of the images has been decided between the groups and the photographs they were working with. Because of this, the question of who took the image has little importance. This is part of Open Eye Gallery’s mission to champion socially engaged photography – photo-based projects that are participatory, in which the collaborative and conversational process of creating the photos is just as important as the final pieces.
Full list of Photographers and Community groups:
Tadhg Devlin with SURF Dementia Network group
Andrew Jackson, Darryl Georgiou and Rebekah Tolley with Granby 4 Streets CLT
Tony Mallon with Women from Northwood Golden Years group
Gary Bratchford and Robert Parkinson with Widnes Golden Generation group and the Women of Windmill Hill
Colin McPherson with New Beginnings and Sefton Youth Voice group
Stephanie Wynne and Steph Fawcett with Tomorrow’s Women Wirral and women from Wirral Change
Stephen King with Communities from St. Helen’s steel, glass and canal industries
This programme has been funded by the Strategic Touring Fund, Arts Council England. Open Eye Gallery’s core funders are Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.