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Another Eye: Women Refugee Photographers in Britain, 1930-1960

Venue: Birkbeck Clore Management Centre

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The impact of refugee artists in shaping British visual culture between the wars and in the postwar period is relatively well documented. Far less well-known is the fact that among the refugees fleeing Nazi-dominated Europe for Britain there were many women photographers.

The work of these women, some well-known, many unrecognised, brought a fresh approach to British photography in the decades that followed. The conference will consider the contribution of these women émigré photographers to British visual culture. In so doing, it will analyse the nature of the European cultural practices they brought with them and investigate their work across portraiture, social-reportage, architectural and still-life photography; and for magazines, book jackets, and record sleeves. Many set up their own studios, producing portraits of the British cultural elite; others observed the more socially diverse world of the city. In the 1940s they played a significant role in representing British national life anew as part of the post-war social democratic reconstruction. A primary aim of the conference is to consider how their experience as both (mostly Jewish) outsiders and women shaped their practice.

The conference, organised by the History & Theory of Photography Research Centre, Birkbeck and Four Corners in association with the Insiders/Outsiders Festival (, accompanies Another Eye: Women Refugee Photographers in Britain after 1933, a major exhibition at Four Corners Gallery, London, which runs from 28 February to 2 May 2020 ( It is funded by the Paul Mellon Centre 

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