To kickstart the 2020 cultural programme at The Refuge, they are proud to announce an in-residency exhibition by British Culture Archive. ‘The People’s City’ will launch with a special event on Thursday 30th January, and will continue to be open to the public into the spring of 2020.

Founded in 2017, the British Culture Archive is a registered non-profit resource set up to document, highlight and preserve the changes in British society and culture through social and documentary photography. The exhibition will include a stunning selection of images from featured photographers that capture the very essence of what made Britain one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries from the 1960s onwards.

The curator of the exhibition, and founder of British Culture Archive / The People’s Archive, Paul Wright said. “Britain is a cultural melting pot influenced by other nations. We take a look back at everyday life growing up in our towns and communities. The music, fashion, politics and passions that defined and united us through good times and bad times.”

The launch party of The People’s City at The Refuge from 5pm on Thursday 30th January will be a celebration of this genuinely important British project, in association with Proper Magazine, the party will feature guest DJs on the night, Paul Wright himself, Neil Summers, founder of Proper Magazine, Luke Unabomber, Glenn Kitson (Filmmaker), Abigail Ward (co-founder of Manchester Digital Music Archive) with more to be confirmed.

The exhibition will include a selection of work from featured photographers including:

Peter Walsh

Working as a photographer for Manchester’s City Life Magazine in the 80s and 90s Peter became immersed in Manchester’s club scene and documented the UK’s Acid House explosion in the city. As well as his iconic images of Manchester’s Hacienda nightclub Peter also captured the spirit of the era as well as the faces, bands and fashions that graced the city during those pivotal years.

Joy Festival. Rochdale, 1989. Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Richard Davis – Hulme, 1980s-90s.

Richard Davis (b-1965) is a British social documentary and portrait photographer.

Richard created an important body of work documenting his surroundings whilst a resident of Hulme, a working class inner-city district of Manchester in the late 80s and early 90s. Built after the slum clearances of the 1960s, Hulme was made up of concrete walkways, maisonettes and large concrete crescents loosely inspired by the architecture of Georgian Bath.

During the period Richard was living in Hulme the area was left largely abandoned by the council and began to fall into disrepair. Around this time it became its own self-contained universe – a multicultural and diverse utopia consisting of long term residents, artists, ravers, drop outs and punks.

This version of Hulme no longer exists, the crescents and surrounding flats were eventually bulldozed in 1994 and a massive regeneration of the area began.

Hulme, Manchester c.late 80s. Photo © Richard Davis.

Rob Bremner – Merseyside, 1980s-90s.

Rob Bremner (b-1964) is a British social and documentary photographer born in Wick, Scotland. Leaving Scotland to study in Wallasey Rob became acquainted with celebrated photographer’s Tom Wood (who was teaching at his college) and Martin Parr, who lived nearby. He would help out in Tom’s darkroom and spend his weekends following Tom and Martin around the faded resort of New Brighton as they documented the area.

Rob was later accepted on to David Hurn’s School of Documentary Photography in Newport. It was around this time he started to photograph the Everton and Vauxhall areas of Liverpool, then the third most deprived area of Britain with the highest rate of arson in Europe.

Rob Bremner’s photos captured the mood of these times, but also the everyday life, friendly faces and local characters who were proud of their city and the communities they belonged to.

Liverpool, 1980s/90s. Photo © Rob Bremner

The People’s Archive – Various 1960s-90s.

This is British Culture Archive’s ongoing project and archive documenting the publics images of everyday life, working class society and culture in the UK.

The images highlight real life as it was for many of us growing up in a time before the days of smart phones and social media.

Killingworth, 1990s. Photo © The People’s Archive

British Culture Archive is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to help create a full online archive and a permanent gallery space in Manchester. For more information please visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thepeoplesarchive

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