Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen: Byker Newcastle
This series by Finnish photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen was shot in the working-class English neighborhood of Byker, in Newcastle upon Tyne. Taken in the 1970s when the photographer herself lived there, these photographs show what the neighborhood was like right before its disintegration due to urban redevelopment. Simplicity of life is evident in some of the photographs, while others merely suggest it in captured moments or poignant authentic portraits.
At the time, this place looked like dozens of others across the country, with large red brick buildings, factories, little houses crammed together and vacant lots where the lives of its citizens played out. The subjects are local people, families of workers who work in the coal industry or naval construction. Through Konttinen’s eyes we see what they see. She photographs them with empathy and curiosity, in waste grounds, in living rooms with outdated wallpaper, in bedrooms, in dining rooms, and on street corners.
Read the full version of this article on the French version of Le Journal.
Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Byker
Until May 11th, 2013
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs
764 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10065