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Another Kind of Life

Photography on the Margins

Touching on themes of countercultures, subcultures and minorities of all kinds, the show featured 20 photographers from the 1950s to present day, reflecting a more diverse complex view of the world.

Another Kind of Life followed the lives of individuals & communities on the fringes of society from America to India, Chile to Nigeria. Driven by personal and political motivations, many of the photographers sought to provide an authentic representation of the disenfranchised communities with whom they spent months, years or even decades with, often conspiring with them to construct their own identity through the camera lens.

Featuring communities of sexual experimenters, romantic rebels, outlaws, survivalists, the economically dispossessed and those who openly flout social convention, the works present the outsider as an agent of change. From street photography to portraiture, vernacular albums to documentary reportage, the show includes the Casa Susanna CollectionPaz Errazuriz, Pieter HugoMary Ellen Mark and Dayanita Singh.

This exhibition is part of our 2018 season The Art of Change, which explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

This exhibition contains some works of an adult nature. Parental guidance advised, and children 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

No photography, food or drink permitted in the gallery. Rucksacks and large bags must be deposited in the cloakroom.

The average viewing time for the exhibition is 90 minutes, excluding video run time. 

Download the Large Print Exhibition Guide

Part of The Art of Change

Our 2018 season explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Another Kind of Life Story: Podcast Series

Photo of woman dancing in the street

Episode 3 - Dayanita Singh & Mona's Story

We look at Mona Ahmad's story, a eunuch, or 'hijra', and her friendship with Dayanita Singh. Actress Shobu Kapoor brings life to Mona’s emails, accompanied by insight from director, Ila Mehrotra-Jenkins and Exhibition Assistant, Charlotte Flint.

Photo of man with long hair behind a fence

Episode 2 - Igor Palmin and the Soviet Hippies

Social and cultural historian of the Soviet Union, Juliane Furst and Ilia Rogatchevski, a Russian born, Scotland raised sound artist, discuss the subjects of Igor Palmin's photographs documenting the 'Soviet hippy' movement of the 1970s.

Black and white photo of person standing by a Casa Susanna sign

Episode 1: Casa Susanna

We discuss Casa Susanna with curator, Alona Pardo, Rhyannon Styles, author of The New Girl: A Trans Girl Tells It Like It Is and Professor Michael 'Miqqi Alicia' Gilbert, who share some of their own responses to this collection of photographs. 

photo of paz errazuriz

Barbican Meets: Paz

Since the 1980s, Chilean photographer Paz Errázuriz has documented those living on the fringes of society: from trans communities to the homeless. Here she recounts the stories behind some of her photographs.

photo of swiss photographer walter pfeiffer in front of his own photos

Barbican Meets: Walter Pfeiffer


Swiss photographer Walter Pfeiffer recounts his first steps into the world of photography, and shares the story of how Carlo Joh, his series of photographs of a young man oscillating between naked, made-up and drag, came into being.

photo of young reviewer barbara ojei standing in front of photographs

Watch: Young Reviewer on Another Kind of Life


Young Reviewer Barbara headed to the margins with our photography exhibition Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins - here she shares her highlights of the show...

With thanks

Barbican Art Gallery