NC Meeting. During counting of votes. West Johannesburg, S.Africa  1990

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Redeye's Photo Histories is a new strand of events that looks at some of the many histories that photography can uncover. The strand features photographers, archivists, scholars and historians exploring some of the lesser-known and under represented histories of photography.


We are thrilled to welcome Maggie Murray, founder of Format Collective. Established in 1983, Format was the first and only women's agency in Britain. If you’ve read the excellent recent book, Photography of Protest and Community by Noni Stacey, you might wonder how the radical collectives of the 1970s transitioned into the progressive photography of today. This talk sheds light on that era. Format Collective tended to focus on events and individuals who weren't being represented in mainstream media. From LGBTQ+ marches to The Miners' Strike to women's rights movements, these women photographed a range of important political events and social movements. 


In this talk Maggie Murray will take us through how and why Format was set up as a collective and agency for women photographers. As well as what it was like being a photographer, and especially a female photojournalist in the 1980s and 90s. Maggie will give us an insight into how the members juggled different aspects of their core aims such as creative, commercial and political. She takes us through the struggles they faced, how they overcame them with support, and how they developed, both collectively and individually. And finally, what led to the closure of the agency in 2003. 


Photo Histories are delivered in partnership with The Photographic Collections Network.




Maggie Murray was a photojournalist and documentary photographer. She covered social and development issues both in Britain and other parts of the world especially Africa. 

In the 1970s she was a member of the Hackney Flashers - a mixed media agitprop collective. Later, in the 1980s, she and Val Wilmer set up Format Photographers - a unique agency representing women photographers and their work. The agency also strove to represent people and events not usually covered by the mainstream media of the time - eg women, disability, Black issues, LGBT


Her archive and the archives of the Hackney Flashers and Format Photographers are held at Bishopsgate Archives in the City of London.




Online! You will need an internet connection and a computer, smartphone or tablet. 

This event takes place as a Zoom meeting. You are welcome to have your camera and mic on or off.


Watch live on Wednesday 27th October, from 7pm - 8pm.

Booking will close on on the day of the event at 4pm and we will then be in touch with everyone who has registered with the meeting code and password. 


Who is it for?
This event is free and open to all. You will need to make an account with us to register but you don't need to be a member. It should be particularly relevant to anyone interested in history, photojournalism or collectives. And take a look at the rest of the events in our Photo Histories series.


Please register for free by 4pm on Wednesday 27th October to receive your invitation to the meeting.

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