In autumn 2003 I went over to the East End of London to the studio of Paul Trevor to appraise the photographic archive of Survival Programmes a record of inner city life during the 1970s. The project was funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation and undertaken by the Exit Photography Group comprising Paul Trevor, Chris Steele-Perkins and Nicholas Battye who travelled to cities across the UK to photograph inner city life. The cities covered included Liverpool, Belfast, Birmingham and Newcastle. At the time I got the sense that few people were interested in the collection for either its aesthetics or as a documentary record of time and place.
So it has been good to see Paul Trevor’s work popping up in a couple of street photography exhibitions over the summer. Paul is one of the photographers interviewed by the Museum of London for the London Street Photography exhibition which includes Paul’s photographs of Brick Lane. Up in Liverpool at the Walker Art Gallery Like You’ve Never Been Away showcases some of Paul’s photographs of Liverpool taken for Survival Programmes.
Survival Programmes produced vivid if sometimes disturbing images of inner city life. To find out more the photographs can be accessed via the Archives Reading Room on the lower ground floor of the Library. There are details on the Archives Catalogue.