Tish Murtha was a firm believer that photography could be a tool for social change – here, her daughter Ella reflects on the importance and continued relevance of her work
Originally self-published in 1986, Beyond Caring documented the waiting rooms of unemployment offices around the UK. Now, 36 years later, it is republished by MACK
“Tish believed that photography was an important form of visual communication that could stimulate discussions about real life situations and captured accurate records of the world we live in. She was trying to force people to look at the truth and learn from it,” explains Ella Murtha, the daughter of the documentary photographer. In honour of her mother’s memory, Ella has put together a new photobook, Youth Unemployment, which gathers Tish Murtha’s work photographing poverty-ridden communities in Newcastle in the 70s and 80s. Raw, powerful and emotional, Murtha has captured youngsters trying to survive turbulent economic times, when they had limited prospects – something which has recently come full circle as a new generation has had to deal with the global financial crisis.