Franki Raffles (1955-1994)
Edinburgh-based Franki Raffles was a social documentarian and feminist photographer who died tragically young in December 1994 as a result of complications from giving birth to twin girls.
She travelled the world photographing women at work and in their everyday lives, aiming to show their resilience, dignity and strength. She was deeply interested in the issues they dealt with –inequality, identity, gender, abuse, migration – which still resonate today.
Women Workers is a project in which Franki documented the lives of women in the USSR’s Russia, Georgia and the Ukraine during the final months of Communism, in the summer of 1989.
Lot’s Wife was a project undertaken by Franki in Israel in 1992-94. Funded by a scholarship from the Wingate Trust, the images document the harsh reality of the lives of Russian Jewish women who had emigrated to Israel following the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Zero Tolerance was a charity established by Franki and Evelyn Gillan, together with a group of women working on Edinburgh District Council Women’s Committee projects in the late 80s. Franki took the photographs for this ground-breaking campaign to raise awareness of men’s violence against women and children.
Dr Alistair Scott (Edinburgh Napier University) set up The Raffles Archive Project at Edinburgh Napier University which comprises her photographic practice, together with notebooks, diaries and press cuttings.
The University of St Andrews also holds an archive of her photography, managed in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University.
By Paula Vellet