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Online Event

Close Up: Franki Raffles

Close Up: Franki Raffles
6.30pm Thursday 27th May
Livestreamed through

For our eleventh Close Up artist talk we will be exploring the enduring influence of feminist photographer Franki Raffles. 

Rachel Nordstrom (Photographic Collections Manager at the University of St Andrews Library & Museums) will chair this special event. She will be joined by Alistair Scott (Edinburgh Napier University); who set up The Raffles Archive Project which has gathered together Raffles’ complete photographic practice, and Catherine Spencer (Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, University of St Andrews), who has taken an active research and academic role from within the Franki Raffles Collection since it was opened for access. 

We will also be joined by Jenny Brownrigg (Exhibitions Director, The Glasgow School of Art) who curated the first major exhibition of Franki Raffles work in 25 years and contemporary photographer Alicia Bruce, whose Violence Unseen project continues the legacy of the work by Raffles stemming from her pioneering work with the Zero Tolerance campaign against domestic violence.

Franki Raffles was born in Salford in 1955. In 1973 Franki took up a place at St Andrews University to study Philosophy, where she was active in the Women’s Liberation Movement. She graduated with an MA (Hons) Moral Philosophy and in the following year she moved to the Isle of Lewis to renovate a derelict farmhouse in the village of Callanish. It was whilst living on Lewis she began her photographic practice.

In 1983 Franki moved to Edinburgh and from this time onwards she found work as a self-employed photographer. She worked with community groups, charities and arts organisations, and taught evening classes. In September 1983 she spent several weeks in Zimbabwe where, for the first time, she introduced an international perspective to her creative practice and photographed a local women’s health project.

From 1991 Franki worked, with Evelyn Gillan and a small team of other women, to establish the charity Zero Tolerance, to raise awareness of male violence against women. She was responsible for creating the images used in the early campaigns, which were launched to great acclaim in Edinburgh and were then taken up by local authorities across the UK and abroad.

Her death on 6th December 1994 was completely unanticipated and came as a result of complications after giving birth to twin daughters. She is survived by her partner, Sandy, and children Anna, Nikki, Joe, Kate and Sarah.

This event is presented in association with University of St Andrews Library & Museums.

All Images: © Franki Raffles Archive
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