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Opening 11 May 2024
Northumbria University Gallery

Franki Raffles Photography, Activism, Campaign Works

11 May – 17 November 2024 | 10am-6pm

In May 2024, Baltic will present the first major retrospective exhibition of feminist, activist, social documentary photographer Franki Raffles (1955–1994). Raffles documented the lives of women in the UK, predominantly in Scotland, and during travels with her family in the 1980s across the Soviet Union (Russia, Georgia and Ukraine), China, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean, Israel and Palestine. 

Frank Raffles Soviet Women © Franki Raffles Estate, all rights reserved.

In May 2024, Baltic will present the first major retrospective exhibition of feminist, activist, social documentary photographer Franki Raffles (1955–1994). Raffles documented the lives of women in the UK, predominantly in Scotland, and during travels with her family in the 1980s across the Soviet Union (Russia, Georgia and Ukraine), China, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean, Israel and Palestine. In Edinburgh she worked as a freelance photographer with schools and women’s groups. Her photography focused attention on women’s lives and their work, addressing issues such as inequality, gendered violence, disability, activism and sisterhood.

The exhibition, Franki Raffles: Photography, Activism, Campaign Works, will concentrate on her astonishing creative output over a period of ten years from 1984–94 when she was most active. During this time, she produced around 40,000 images, the majority now residing in the Franki Raffles Photography Collection at the University of St. Andrews. The exhibition will bring together photographs, many shown publicly for the first time, alongside archive material contextualising her work. 

Raffles was born in Salford and studied at University of St. Andrews. Following her graduation, she moved to Lewis, then to Edinburgh. She exhibited at Stills Gallery, Edinburgh; Mercury Gallery, London; The Corridor Gallery, Fife; Pearce Institute, Glasgow; and First of May Gallery, Edinburgh. Raffles’ life was tragically cut short when she died in childbirth at the age of only 39. 

Presented in the Northumbria University Gallery, Level 3 at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.

Black and white photo of a woman working in a factory.
Black and white photo of 2 women sat at a table smoking.

Exhibition Accessibility

  • Our friendly and knowledgeable Baltic Crew team can interpret the artworks and help bring meaning and understanding to the exhibition. 
  • Folding seats – ask Baltic Crew or pick up a stool from the racks.
  • Free exhibition tours - chat to Baltic Crew to find out when the next tour takes place.
  • For our full building accessibility and facilities information visit here
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