The Tetley

Reframing Disaster

26 November - 7 December 2014


Reframing Disaster is part of a series of events in Leeds during 2014 marking the 30th anniversary of the
Bhopal Gas Disaster in India, the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, and the 10th anniversary of
the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

The exhibition focuses on Indian photographer Raghu Rai’s pictures following the Bhopal Gas Disaster on
2–3 December 1984. Rai was the first photographer to capture images of the devastation caused by an
explosion and gas leak in the Union Carbide chemical plant, located in one of the poorest parts of the city.

Half a million people were exposed to the gas and 25,000 have died to date as a result. Hundreds of
thousands have also experienced chronic health problems and disabilities in the decades following the
explosion. The American corporation – which is now a subsidiary of Dow Chemical – has never accepted
full responsibility for the disaster, and has evaded justice in the Indian courts. As we reach the 30th
anniversary of the disaster, the site of the abandoned factory has still not been cleaned up, and the
groundwater supply in Bhopal remains poisoned.

Rai’s photography draws attention to the emotional, physical, and political fallout of this catastrophe, and
the struggles of people to resume life in a toxic environment. It also poses some of the questions that the
associated programme of events explores.

How long does a disaster last for? How do communities recover from long-term environmental damage? And what might be done to support survivors, campaign for justice, and prevent future disasters?

Visit the website for further event listings.


Friday 28 November, 5.30-9.30pm
Reframing Disaster: Commemoration and Creativity

Special event in partnership with the University of Leeds including dance, talks, readings and interviews with Susan Meiselas, Francesca Moore, Minoli Salgado and Kala Sangam. Free.

Monday 1 December, 5.30-9pm
Bhopal30: Leeds, Annual Broadcast

Watch the broadcast of the annual SOAS Globalisation Lecture: Vandana Shiva & Ravi Rajan, Globalisation Since Bhopal: Three Decades of Environmental Disaster with speakers this year focusing on the Bhopal anniversary.

Tuesday 2 December, 3.30-5pm
Drop-in Workshop

Open to high school, college, and university students this drop-in workshop will involve an exhibition tour and discussion.

This will be especially relevant for those with interests in world history, photography, world literature, film, charity and fundraising, and international politics.


Reframing Disaster is supported by the AHRC and the Creative and Cultural Industries Exchange, University of Leeds. This exhibition is a collaboration with the University of Leeds’ Post Colonial Disaster project.