Exhibition: Face to Face



    Red Cross, Oxo Tower Gallery, London


    What made this exhibition special was that young people took the
    photographs and also supplied the annotation. Co-ordinated by
    photojournalist Ruth Robinson, a number of English Red Cross
    projects were featured, including a special needs project in
    Reading, a peer support scheme in Birmingham and a refugee
    befriending service in Kent, writes Mark Drinkwater.

    But it was the Northern Ireland cross-border project that provided
    the most potent imagery: paramilitary murals, political billboards,
    burned-out houses and military watchtowers featured in some of the
    more unsettling photographs on display.

    From the notes we learned that a picture taken on the notorious,
    mainly working class and exclusively Protestant Shankill Road in
    predominantly Catholic West Belfast was photographed at a distance,
    and from inside
    a car.

    Other photographs provided more hope – including Fiona’s picture of
    her auntie who was prepared to move on from the murder of her
    husband, and Christopher’s “My Friends” who were smiling in their
    Ireland football shirts.

    This exhibition was a powerful way of highlighting the diverse work
    of the Red Cross from the perspective of service users.

    Mark Drinkwater is a community worker in Southwark, south

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