What is crime?

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
6 July 2009 to 21 August 2009

An exhibition of Photography that asks the question ‘What is crime?’

‘Too often the media focuses on the harms and crimes of those who have relatively little power in society. This exhibition will broaden our view of who is affected by the financial crisis, environmental harms and different forms of violence.’ Ken Loach
Violent events caused by businesses and the state; hidden violence against women, children and the elderly; the way in which poverty hurts, injures, and kills; the impact of environmental pollution, the images in this exhibition reflect concerns that rarely attract the same level of political and public concern as `conventional’ crime.

Organised by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies in collaboration with 198, and supported by The Wates Foundation and The Independent, this exhibition presents entries to the What is crime? competition. Rather than conventional law and order images of police, prison and judges, What Is crime? invited entries which challenged conventional thinking about harm, injustice and crime. Divided into three categories, violence, finance and environment the competition inspired school children, professional photographers and other members of the public, both in the UK and internationally, to interpret the competition themes. The judging panel was made up of individuals able to bring a range of expertise from the world of arts and academia, including photographers, criminologists and curators such as award winning film maker Ken Loach, Mark Haworth-Booth, Tom Hunter and Tamsin O Hanlon.

The What is crime? exhibition is part of a broader project by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, that has produced original research from leading academics on questions as broad as ‘safety crimes’ in the workplace, the impact of environmental regulation on human health and also the effect of the current recession on homicide, suicide and heart attack rates across Europe. The winning entries include images depicting the construction of Israel/Palestinian wall, a polluted river in India, children working in an illegal tannery, images of environmental damage, and the painful suffering of the elderly.