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No Such Thing as Society - Photography in Britain 1967-1987
David Chadwick, A Man on a walkway, Hulme, Manchester, 1976, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, Copyright the artist, 2007.
ABERTYSTWYTH.-British society, from the late 1960s until the late 1980s, was in a state of unrest and transition, witnessing the effects of de-industrialisation and the rise of Thatcherism, the miners’ strikes and conflict in Northern Ireland as well as radical shifts in the structure of society itself. No Such Thing as Society, organised by Hayward Touring serves as a witness to these times, bringing together 150 photographs by 33 documentary photographers including Keith Arnatt, Victor Burgin, Peter Fraser, Paul Graham, Brian Griffin, Chris Killip, Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, Chris Steele-Perkins, Graham Smith and Homer Sykes. The exhibition opens at Aberystwyth on 15 March 2008 before embarking on an international tour.

Taking its title from the famous Margaret Thatcher statement: “...society? There is no such thing. There are individual men and women and there are families.” The exhibition starts at the end of the 1960s, a time when Pop Art had cemented photography’s place in contemporary culture. At this moment the Arts Council of Great Britain began to commission and collect documentary photography, capturing the changing times. The British Council continued this trend in the early 80s, collecting new colour photography of the decade’s unique social scene.






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