Rochdale to host giant open air street gallery of Co-operation

April 04, 2013

The birthplace of modern co-operatives is to host a giant open air street gallery of photographs as part of a major national tour illustrating the history, scope and impact of co-operation world-wide.

Set to arrive in Rochdale later this month (9-28 April) the free outdoor exhibition consists of 24 images on three metre high installations and, it has been compiled byThe Co-operative to illustrate the contribution of co-operatives to worldwide socio-economic development.

Illuminated at night, The Co-operative Revolution Street Gallery explores the diversity of the sector from football clubs to farming, retail to renewables and pubs to performing arts and, is designed to bring to life the part co-operatives play in combating global poverty and promoting community cohesion, employment generation and social integration.
A ‘still’ from the 1944 film “Men of Rochdale”

The Street Gallery shows how, in 1844, The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers established its store in Toad Lane, Rochdale – a shop that went on to inspire the greatest and most durable grassroots movement with an estimated one billion members of co-operatives worldwide today.

Images include a ‘still’ from the 1944 film “Men of Rochdale” and, the Gallery also features The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy who re-told the story of the birth of co-operatives last year with established actors John Henshaw and John McArdle performing alongside members of the community in “The Rochdale Pioneers”.

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s Head of Community and Co-operative Investment, said: “The striking images and narrative bring to life how co-operatives grew from humble beginnings into a global movement whose values and principles are still changing the world today – the Street Gallery illustrates how everyday people are not only predisposed to co-operation, but are making it happen in communities the world over.”

The Co-operative Revolution Street Gallery – which will be located in The Butts, Rochdale, from 9 – 28 April - was created to mark the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives and has been seen by an estimated five million people.

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