Actions and Detail Panel
Assessing the impact and legacy of feminist photographer Franki Raffles
Tue 25 April 2017, 11:00 – 16:00 BST
This symposium is a contribution to the appreciation of the current Franki Raffles exhibition Observing Women at Work at Reid Gallery, The Glasgow School of Art, 4 March - 27 April 2017.
What are the lessons for contemporary feminist and social documentary photographic practice, archive collections and exhibition curation from this work now over 20 years old?
This symposium will draw on the Franki Raffles Research project to look in depth at Raffles' work from 1981 until her death in 1994. There will be papers that will outline the intitiatives leading to the current exhibition and charting how it was planned. Raffles died suddenly and unexpectedly and without the chance for her to select and organise her work for future preservation. For twenty years, her photographic practice has been largely forgotten and unkown. This symposium will consider the legacy of her work, in Scotland and in other coutnries, examine how the central themes of her practice are relevant to women and photography today.
Dr. Alistair Scott (Associate Professor, Film and TV Edinburgh Napier University) will introduce the breadth and range of Raffles' photographic practice and examine the wider contexts of her career.
Jenny Brownrigg (The Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions Director), curator of the current GSA exhibition, will describe the curatorial process drawing from the three bodies of Raffles' work which are included: To Let You Understand... (1988); Women Workers, Russia (1989); and the Zero Tolerance 'Prevalence Campaign' (1992).
Dr. Rachel Nordstrom (Photographic Collection Manager, University of St. Andrews Special Collections) will outline her work within a Photography Archive and discuss the work which will be required to properly conserve Raffles' photographs and ensure that her work can be available for exhibition and study.
Other papers will assess Raffles' international project work and the importance of her feminist politics to her practice.
The Symposium will also focus on questions about the challenges for archival collection and curation of feminist creative practice, with a focus on social documentary photography.