Byker Revisited

ISBN: 9781904794424
Artist(s): Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen
Format: hardback
Year published: 2009
Publisher: Northumbria Press
Publisher Location: Newcastle
Total Pages: 192
Illustrations: Illustrated in colour


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Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen moved to the Byker area of Newcastle in 1970 and shortly after her arrival she began to capture the spirit of the community in evocative photographs that formed the basis of a book and film. Since leaving Byker in 1976, Sirkka has maintained contact with the area and its many residents who have become her friends. Byker Revisited is a visual and verbal documentary, a portrait of a contemporary community that is in flux – a community of the poor, the disadvantaged and the refugees who demonstrate a life-affirming humanity which is captured in their words and Sirkka’s stunning photographs. Lee Hall, the writer of the film Billy Elliott and the play The Pitmen Painters, provides an introduction. The exhibition and the Amber documentary film of the same name in 2009 will ensure that this small but famous area of Newcastle will attract a world-wide audience, an audience who will instinctively respond to the basic ‘goodness’ reflected in the words and pictures. Some twenty-eight languages are spoken in the Byker area representing a diverse collection of people who could be described as being on the margins of society but the images and interviews collected in Byker Revisited affirm a commonality in the hopes and aspirations of this diverse collection of cultures and religions. It is a community that is uniquely Byker.


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