As part of its activities to commemorate and celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the Marx Memorial Library is showing an exhibition of portraits taken by photographer Vaughan Melzer. Melzer has made it her task to take portrait photographs of men and women born between 1915 and 1950 who became dedicated Socialists in their youth and who have maintained that commitment throughout their lives, despite the decades of an inimical ideological climate and media silence.
An example of one of Melzer's portraits: Jeremy Corbyn, MP
Melzer has created these portraits of people who formed their ideas in the wake of the First World War, the Big Depression, Hungry Thirties and the struggle against fascism, concluding in the Second World War. They are the often unsung heroes of the socialist movement, people who devoted their lives to justice, social equality and the dream of a socialist society. Vaughan's portraits reveal this turbulent history through the faces of those she has photographed. Her work constitutes a pantheon that acknowledges and celebrates the place in Twentieth Century history of this special group of human beings. Vaughan was particularly interested in what influenced them and how they came to their commitment and in brief accompanying biographies describes their fascinating and varied stories.
Portrait of political activist Nicola Seyd
The exhibition, entitled 'Those Who Never Gave Up: Their Hopes of a Socialist World Never Died', will be on display in the Marx Memorial Library from November 7 to December 14, 2017.