British photographic history

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Online campaign to secure the Side Gallery's funding

An online petition has been launched save Newcastle's Side Gallery which opened in 1977. The Gallery has a commitment to documentary in the tradition of the concerned photographer. It commissions work in the North of England and shows historical and contemporary work from around the world. Talks are organised around most of the exhibitions. The Arts Council has axed Side Gallery as a revenue client in its ‘National Portfolio’. The reasons for the decision are:

  • The gallery is part of a collective and therefore doesn’t have a board;
  • The gallery needs Arts Council funding and therefore isn’t sustainable;
  • There are too many galleries dedicated to humanist documentary photography in Side’s geographical location.

This flies in the face of the fact that the collective has continued to deliver what is unquestionably the strongest cultural legacy created in the North East over the past forty years.  Unlike many Arts organisations, its egalitarian collective governance has meant Side Gallery has never approached the Arts Council or Northern Arts for a bail-out. It is the only gallery in the country dedicated to documentary photography.

For see the petition click here:

To visit the Gallery's website click here:


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Comment by Michael Wong on May 21, 2011 at 14:40

For those with an interest in this gallery, an early day motion on the future of Side Gallery was tabled in Parliament on 11th May 2011. The House called on the Arts Council England to review its decision to cut funding for the Side Gallery in Newcastle; recognises the unique work of the Side Gallery as the only gallery in the country dedicated to humanist documentary photography etc.

Details of the EDM (1798) can be found in the parliamentary business here.

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