Franki Raffles: Photography, Activism, Campaign Works

Wed – Sun, 10am – 6pm

Preview 10 May, 5 – 8pm

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Baltic presents the first major retrospective exhibition of feminist, activist, social documentary photographer Franki Raffles (1955–1994).

Raffles documented the lives of women in the UK, predominantly in Scotland, and during travels with her family in the 1980s across the Soviet Union (Russia, Georgia and Ukraine), China, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean, Israel and Palestine. In Edinburgh she worked as a freelance photographer with schools and women’s groups. Her photography focused attention on women’s lives and their work, addressing issues such as inequality, gendered violence, disability, activism and sisterhood.

Franki Raffles: Photography, Activism, Campaign Works concentrates on the artist’s astonishing creative output over a period of ten years from 1984–94 when she was most active. During this time, she produced around 40,000 images, the majority now residing in the Franki Raffles Photography Collection at the University of St. Andrews. The exhibition brings together photographs, many shown publicly for the first time, alongside archive material contextualising her work.

Raffles was born in Salford and studied at University of St. Andrews. Following her graduation, she moved to Lewis, then to Edinburgh. She exhibited at Stills Gallery, Edinburgh; Mercury Gallery, London; The Corridor Gallery, Fife; Pearce Institute, Glasgow; and First of May Gallery, Edinburgh. Raffles’ life was tragically cut short when she died in childbirth at the age of only 39.


‘Perfectly timed and depressingly timely, bringing the political parallels between the 1980s and now into sharp, irrefutable focus’ —Charlotte Jansen, The Guardian ★★★★

‘Thanks to a few enthusiastic curators, this remarkable show takes us back to the 1980s and early 90s, during which Raffles worked with women’s organisations, trades unions and charities such as Women’s Aid, documenting the working lives of women both in the UK and abroad’ —JJ Charlesworth, The Telegraph ★★★★

South Shore Road Gateshead NE8 3BA

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Until 16 March 2025

FREE, donations welcome

  • Wed 10am – 6pm
  • Thu 10am – 6pm
  • Fri 10am – 6pm
  • Sat 10am – 6pm
  • Sun 10am – 6pm
  • Level access
  • Lifts to all areas
  • Hearing loop
  • Large-format print
  • Walking aids
  • Mobility scooters
  • Accessible toilets
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Adult changing facilities
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