Talking Pictures: A Look at Liberal Media in the 20th Century


Examine liberal media and its role in our understanding of the 20th Century in this special panel discussion


Talking Pictures: A Look at Liberal Media in the 20th Century


Examine liberal media and its role in our understanding of the 20th Century in this special panel discussion

This event is part of our Past Programme

The liberal media has greatly influenced how we remember and understand the 20th century. From anti-apartheid demonstrations in South Africa and UK-wide worker strikes in the 1970s, to broader issues related to globalisation, immigration, racism and gender inequality, the liberal press has been critical in reflecting our social, political and economic realities. Photographs have played a critical role in communicating many of the issues are addressed and in building narrative.

In her accompanying essay for the exhibition The Picture Library, author and Guardian columnist Nesrine Malik questions “the moral certainty of sound politics” within the framework of a libertarian self-image. This panel discussion, with contributions from Luke Dodd (Guardian Foundation and The Picture Library co-curator), Natalie Fenton (Goldsmiths), and writer and researcher Maya Goodfellow, considers how contemporary and historical narratives have been shaped by the adoption of progressive positions in media outlets like The Guardian and asks to what degree the liberal press has enabled the ingrained practices it purports to criticise.

Details on how to access the talk will be confirmed upon registration. Please check your junk folders if you haven't received an email from TPG staff confirming your place. 

Watch Live from Wed 15 Sep at 18.30 BST


Luke Dodd is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York.  His projects include the establishment of The National Museum of the 1840s Irish Famine, Strokestown Park, County Roscommon; the establishment of The Guardian and Observer Archive; several books and a film relating to the work of the legendary Observer photographer, Jane Bown; curating Easter Rising 1916 - Sexton Collection (2016) at The Photographers' Gallery.  

Natalie Fenton is a Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she is Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy. She was Vice-Chair of the Board of the campaign group Hacked Off for 7 years and Chair of the UK Media Reform Coalition for 3 years. She is now on the Board of Declassified UK, an investigative journalism website for in-depth analysis on British foreign policy. Her books include News Media: Old News: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age (Sage, 2010); Misunderstanding the Internet (Routlege, 2016); Digital, Politica, Radical (Polity, 2016); Media, Democracy and Social Change: Re-imagining Political Communications (Sage, 2020) and The Media Manifesto (Polity, 2020).

Dr Maya Goodfellow is a writer and academic, specialising in the relationships between race, bordering and capitalism. She is currently Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at SPERI, the University of Sheffield and she is a Visiting Research Fellow at the UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation. Her first book Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats was published with Verso in 2020 and was longlisted for the Jhalak Prize. Maya has written for The Guardian and The New York Times, among others, and regularly appears on channels such as the BBC and Sky News.

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