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Statement from Street Level Photoworks

Statement from Street Level Photoworks

Posted on: 26th November 2023


Street Level Photoworks believes that images are important vehicles of communication and understanding and an influential force for social change. We also believe that cultural rights are an integral part of human rights and, like other rights, are universal, indivisible and interdependent. As the Human Rights Consortium in Scotland stated: ‘The full promotion of and respect for cultural rights is essential for the maintenance of human dignity and positive social interaction between individuals and communities in a diverse and multicultural world.’

For some time we have admired the uncompromising work of Peter Kennard and his position as a visual activist. In 2004 we exhibited AWARD, a collaboration with Cat Phillipps, a series of compelling works made in response to the invasion of Iraq by Western forces and to confront power and war across the globe, stating, "AWARD arose out of our need to find a way to express our disgust with the war against Iraq and attempt to revoke our impotence in the face of the raging terrorism committed in the name of democracy."

In 2021 Kennard produced the print installation Code Red addressing the climate emergency which we exhibited to coincide with COP26 in Glasgow.

We’re living in a time of absolute emergency. We’re tottering through the rubble of the rampant free market. It’s a time in which images can open up a critical space that can jolt assumptions and break through denial. The poet Shelley wrote that ‘we must imagine what we know. - Peter Kennard

Does any of this ring any bells when you switch on or listen to the news?

Upholding the principles of cultural entitlement pales into insignificance when you are faced with the threat of death every minute of the day – the ultimate forced eradication of human rights. Therefore, the sharing of this is by way of stating where we stand in relation to the current atrocities being inflicted on human lives in Palestine and Israel. We are appalled to witness (via media channels) civilians paying the horrifying price for political failure and the shameful violation of international humanitarian law. We further state that the loss of any innocent human life undertaken in the name of any military-industrial complex, cause, government, political or religious group, or that which serves the interests of any form of apartheid, is totally unacceptable in a world we call our own.

We therefore join the call for a lasting ceasefire so the horrific violence stops, and humanitarian aid can continue to reach those whose lives are depending on it. Not just a pause in the killing, not just a humanitarian corridor, but an immediate and lasting ceasefire so that lives can be rebuilt.

Another and better world is possible.

Street Level Photoworks

Images: banner 'Crushed Missile' 1980; '...and babies' (15/10/2023)© Peter Kennard 

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