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Other Side of the Line at Surface Gallery

Promotional materials for Vanessa Short's exhibition and preview night.
This December, Surface Gallery welcomes Vanessa Short to Nottingham to present a different side of the national miners strike of 1984-85, thirty years on.
Other Side of the Line is a collection of photographs and audio footage of the miners who defied union leaders and returned to work before the year-long strike officially ended. Raised in a coal-mining family herself, Short began the project to shed light on the seldom-told stories of these men and the stigma that they bore after crossing the picket line.

“After thirty years, they emerge from the darkness of both the pit bottom and their silence to reveal their stories of life after the coal fields.’’

Thirty stories from across the UK are captured in black and white portrait form, representing each individual ‘moving out of the darkness and into the light.’
The images are accompanied by audio footage of the miners' names, their collieries and their reasons for breaking the strike.
Many also go on to share the enduring impact that their choice had on their own and their families lives, and the continued hardship they faced after the death of Britain’s coal industry.

“These are the people who shared the other side of a bitter strike that divided this country and its communities.’’

Other Side of the Line sets out to give a voice to those who faced up to an impossible decision and to honour their strength after remaining in the dark for so long.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Project Tags

  • Photography Exhibition

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