The Rio Tape/Slide Newsgroup was a community project in the 1980s that met in the basement of the Rio Cinema in Dalston, east London. It taught unemployed local young people photography and sound-recording skills and then sent them out to report on Hackney life. The resulting ‘newsreels’ were then shown on screen at the Rio before the main feature.
The slides were rediscovered in a battered filing cabinet in the Rio basement during renovation work in 2016. They are a treasure trove of radical community photography depicting protests and activism, street scenes, work, play and ‘80s Dalston style.
We’re interviewing the participants to compile an oral history of the project, to put it in its social, cultural and political context – so it won’t be just another east London coffee table book! Some money will go to support the Rio (shut since March) through the Covid-19 crisis, and towards new community archiving and youth workshops.
Published by Isola Press, 25.5 × 19.5 cm, softcover, 2020, 978-0-9954886-6-3