Socialist Worker

Shirley Baker—Women, Children and Loitering Men

Issue No. 2465

This is a rare chance to see the work of street photographer Shirley Baker.
Baker focused on producing social documentary photographs, which captured working class communities in the north of England. 
This exhibition brings together a collection of her work documenting the slum clearance programmes of inner city Manchester and Salford between 1961 and 1981.

Baker was from a middle class background, without any experience of working class life.

Yet her work is not patronising and doesn’t romantacise its subjects. 

Baker saw the slum clearances as the destruction of those communities. 

Many of the photographs focus on children and their resilience. They’re shown turning the rubble into a makeshift playground. 

Baker explained that she “Wanted to do something. But what could I do? I decided I would go out on the streets capturing this upheaval, photographing people I came across”.

The Photographers’ Gallery,
London W1F 7LW.
Adults £2.50 or £2 concessions
Until 20 September

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Article information

Tue 4 Aug 2015, 17:59 BST
Issue No. 2465
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