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Welfare State International 1976 – 1983
Daniel Meadows

Welfare State International 1976 - 1983 Daniel Meadows

Welfare State International 1976 - 1983 Daniel MeadowsWelfare State International 1976 – 1983
Daniel Meadows
Café Royal Books


Edition of 200
28 pages
140 x 200 mm
ISBN Not Available


While working as a photographer-in-residence to the borough of Pendle, Lancashire, 1975 – 77, one of Daniel Meadows’ jobs was to record the work of the Welfare State International (WSI) based in Burnley. Innovators of community art, carnival, fire show spectaculars, lantern festivals and pioneering theatre of all kinds, Welfare State’s work has been internationally acclaimed. Formed in 1968 as a collective, it took art out of the privileged spaces of theatre and gallery, to reach new audiences.

‘In those days you could get free teeth and free coffins’, co-founder John Fox recalled in 2013, ‘but you couldn’t necessarily get free art.’ ‘We wanted to engage with what I’ve now come to talk about as the vernacular river,’ said Fox. ‘Underneath I believe there’s a whole area of creative activity which has really become submerged. It’s a natural way of being and its not a mode of knowledge that’s particularly encouraged in this culture. It’s seen as a leisure industry or it’s seen as something you do up to the time you’re five but it’s denied and channelled away from the system because, if you could make things, then we can’t sell you them, can we? So it’s an indoctrination to prevent people being creative.’

The Daniel Meadows Archive is in the Library of Birmingham. Collection Reference: MS2765.
(source: zine’s introduction.)

About the Artist
Daniel Meadows (b. 1952) is an English photographer turned maker of digital stories, and a teacher of photography turned teacher of participatory media.

About the Publisher
Café Royal Books (founded 2005) is an independent publisher based in Southport, England. Originally set up as a way to disseminate art, in multiple, affordably, quickly, and internationally while not relying on ‘the gallery’. Café Royal Books publishes artist’s books and zines as well as a weekly series of photobook/zines. The photographic publications are part of a long ongoing series, generally working with photographers and their archives, to publish work, which usually falls into 1970–2000 UK documentary / reportage.