Edith Tudor-Hart

Group of Men, Monmouth Assizes, Wales (Photographed 1935)

About this artwork

March 1935 saw a major confrontation between the police and South Wales miners protesting changes in unemployment legislation. Demonstrators had been prevented from marching from Abertillery to a benefit office in the nearby town of Blaina. The ‘Blaina Riots’, and subsequent trial of miners at Monmouth Assizes later that summer, became a cause célèbre for the left which regarded the police response as heavy-handed. Despite support during the trial from the local politician, Aneurin Bevan, and the Scottish MP, Jennie Lee, eleven miners received prison sentences for riotous assembly. The judge argued that the riot had been orchestrated by the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement, an organisation which he regarded, perhaps correctly, as a front for the Communist Party.

Edith Tudor-Hart

Edith Tudor-Hart

Edith Tudor-Hart, née Suschitzky, was one of the most significant documentary photographers working in Britain in the 1930s and 1940s. Born in Vienna, she grew up in radical Jewish circles. Edith married Alex Tudor-Hart, a British doctor, and the pair moved to England. There she worked as a documentary photographer, closely associated with the Communist Party, compiling a remarkable archive of images of working people in London and later, the south of Wales. Although still active in the 1950s, the difficulties of finding work as a woman photographer led eventually to Tudor-Hart abandoning photography altogether.