Tish Murtha: Youth Unemployment in the Thatcher Years


For some, Margaret Thatcher a.k.a. the Iron Lady may generally be well-remembered during her tenure as prime minister, but like all high seats of office, it's never just always glorious and victorious. Rewind and witness the dark side of the Margaret Thatcher years in the acclaimed series of British social documentary photographer Tish Murtha.

Murtha is best known for documenting the working class and the marginalized communities through social realism around Newcastle upon Tyne and North East of England.In this series, she photographed the youth unemployment crisis in England around the late 1970's.

"Youth Unemployment (1981)" was considered controversial when it was first exhibited, raising the issue through debates in the House of Commons. In the later years, she continued photographing the lively communities in England, moving jumping from a range of topics like commercial sex industry, poverty, and unpopular cultures. Murtha died of brain aneurysm before her dream of publishing a book could be released.

The images are revived to the world by her daughter Ella Murtha, who began sharing her photographs on Instagram, and the reception was overwhelming as they revisited the desperate time of young people embittered by the economic system.

Now, Murtha's dream is to be fulfilled through an ongoing Kickstarter campaign to publish her photographs. The campaign has currently been funded approximately at £13,000 with a £8,000 goal and will end on August 18.

Images are from the Kickstarter page.

2017-07-27 #culture #documentary-photography #black-and-white #tish-murtha


  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    the generation that give birth Morrissey \m/

  2. hannah_brown
    hannah_brown ·

    great post

  3. sirio174
    sirio174 ·

    Great photos. About the (sad) Thatcher era there are two masterpieces recently republished: "In flagrante" by Chris Killip and "Beyond Caring" by Paul Graham

  4. honeygrahams224
    honeygrahams224 ·

    Awesome series - gives a great look into the culture of the time.

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