Everton v the City of Liverpool

Christian Peterson
KIND shop, 110 Bold Street (19th-31st January 2009)

Reviewed by Rebecca Antrobus

Marshall McLuhan once said that "affluence creates poverty", and when walking through the city of Liverpool today it is impossible to disagree. Last year millions of pounds were pumped into the city centre with glossy new shops and restaurants springing up within the costly Liverpool One shopping centre. Sickeningly however, Liverpool's status as Capital of Culture has failed to help those living in extremely deprived districts such as Everton, showing that these so called 'trickle-down economics' are completely meaningless.

Christian Petersen has demanded attention be drawn to Everton and other poor areas of our city through his exhibition of social documentary photography at 110 Bold Street. He stated that "my goal is to create an opportunity for people from the community to meet with the institutions who make the decisions. My ultimate aim is to get people talking." Ironically no members of Liverpool City Council were present at a meeting held to discuss the issues raised by the photographs.

Petersen was keen to stress that there is no running theme within the exhibition and that the photographs were simply windows into people's everyday lives. Unsurprisingly the subjects of religion and football feature heavily throughout the exhibition, as they are so deeply ingrained in Everton's history and social affairs. Many of the images that Petersen has captured are poignant and thought provoking, including an image of the glittering city centre which was taken looking out from Everton. Two public phones are also featured; one having been painted Everton blue which serves to show the overwhelming sense of community and pride that Evertonians possess. In contrast the other phone is allegedly still being used to conduct drug deals, displaying the grim reality of living in an underprivileged area.

Petersen runs a youth project in the area which is currently working on an exhibition entitled 'The View from the Brow', opening on the February 10th. This, like Everton v the City of Liverpool, will be less about art and more about opening up the floor to discuss issues that everyone knows about, but don't want to acknowledge. It's no secret that Liverpool is home to some of the country's poorest areas, but until we openly recognise this problem, people in these places will continue to lose out.

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