Poverty in the midst of Plenty - Raewyn Harrison

  • Venue

    Lancelot Link

  • Time

    9:00 AM

  • Price

    FREE (No booking required)

Raewyn Harrison's Poverty plates are on display in Lancelot Link from Wednesday 18 June to Wednesday 31 July 2024

While researching the background to Charles Booth’s colour coded 1889 Poverty Maps of London, I have been struck how “Poverty in the midst of Plenty” still applies in 2024.

Before Booth undertook his survey, he believed the estimated 25% poverty rate was exaggerated. After his survey, he discovered it was in fact 35%. Unfortunately, poverty is still stubbornly high in London currently running at 25% according to The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2024), a quarter of the population!

Booth’s findings forced the questions about poverty away from debates about morality towards consideration for practical solutions. His maps and over 400 hundred notebooks provided the evidence for progressives to argue for more state intervention on public housing, health, and an old age pension.

In the years since the first map was printed in 1889, we have seen the birth of the welfare state. Sadly, in 2024, many people are experiencing its decline with high levels of inequality.

Raewyn Harrison.

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