The Modern Face of Co-operatives in Wales

Modern face of co-operatives

Wales Co-op Centre

This exhibition features work from contemporary Welsh photographers created from 2015-2021. Presented by the Wales Co-operative Centre to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Owen, it brings together the work of artists whose images feature co-operative businesses building a stronger, fairer, more co-operative Wales.

14th May, 2021 marks the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Owen in Newtown, Powys. A Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropist and social reformer, Owen was one founder of socialism and the co-operative movement. Throughout his life, he championed workers’ rights, led the development of co-operatives and the trade union movement, and supported the passage of child labour laws, free education and early-years child-care.

Owen’s legacy is alive today, carried on by the 474 independent co-op businesses which currently exist in Wales and the countless community groups which operate in accordance with values such as self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.

At a time when there is considerable interest in ‘building back better’ and taking a more co-operative approach to community regeneration and economic development, the photographs reflect a vibrant and dynamic movement which is already present in Wales. The works presented here challenge the perception that co-operation and co-operatives are a historical idea which died out in the mid-twentieth century. In a post-Covid environment, it is imperative that we understand the modern relevance of the co-operative movement, and these works provide an opportunity for that conversation.

The launch date for this photographic exhibition (online) will be Tuesday, 11th May.

Please check back closer to that time, to see further updates and more press releases regarding this initiative in Wales to promote modern co-operatives.

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