A chance discovery of thousands of photographs in the archives of Southwark and Lambeth councils has brought back to life a local community's fight for survival and a new exhibition opening is telling the story.
The exhibition features an extraordinary period of community action in the 1970s and 1980s in Blackfriars, Waterloo and North Southwark along London's South Bank.
For many it was a fight for survival as businesses moved out and land was earmarked for office development leaving isolated communities struggling to maintain their way of life.
The exhibition is presented by "SE1 Stories", an umbrella group of people who were active in the campaigns in the 1970s and 80s. The group came together in 2019 when thousands of photographs were discovered in the archives of Southwark and Lambeth councils. Many were taken by members of the group for SE1 Newspaper, a monthly paper produced by and for the local community. Many more come from the innovative Blackfriars Photography Project that gave people the equipment and skills to be photographers.
The exhibition focuses on the area around Blackfriars Road as part of Southwark Council's Blackfriars Stories initiative.
SE1 Stories plans to present more exhibitions to highlight the rich stories of community action in Waterloo, North Southwark and Bermondsey.
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