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Thu, 04 Jul



Martha - A Picture Story

In 1970s New York, photographer Martha Cooper captured some of the first images of graffiti at a time when the city had declared war on it. Decades later, Cooper has become an influential godmother to a global movement of street artists.

Martha - A Picture Story
Martha - A Picture Story

Time & Location

04 Jul 2024, 19:30 – 21:30

CultPlex, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M4 4HF, UK

About the Event

Cinema doors will open at 7.30pm for an 8pm Start

Grub will be open from 6pm - 10pm for Food and Drinks.

  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Language: English


Martha Cooper is an unexpected icon of the street art movement - a tiny, grey-haired figure running alongside crews of masked graffiti artists.

In the 1970’s, as the boroughs of New York City burned, she worked as a photographer for the New York Post, seeking images of creativity and play where others saw crime and poverty.

As a result, she captured some of the first images of New York graffiti, at a time when the city had declared war on this new culture. Martha and her co-author Henry Chalfant compiled these images into the book Subway Art. However, the commercial failure of the book forced Martha to leave graffiti behind, moving on to document many other hidden cultures of New York.

20 years later Martha discovers she has become a legend of the graffiti world - a culture that has now exploded into a global movement. Subway Art became one of the most sold - and stolen - art books of all time, photocopied and shared by graffiti artists for decades.

At 75 years of age, Martha finds herself navigating a culture vastly changed. The small community born from struggle and adversity, has grown into a commercial industry fuelled by the rise of social media. Now every new piece of street art is immediately uploaded, and crowds line up for selfies in front of popular works. Martha struggles to find her place in this new world, driven by a passion for capturing the creativity that helps people rise above their environment.

  • Director: Selina Miles
  • Producer: Daniel Joyce
  • Executive Producer: Matthew Burke, Jennifer Peedom, Josh Braun
  • Co-Producer: Bethany Bruce
  • Cast: Martha Cooper, 1UP Crew, Os Gemeos
  • Cinematographer: Marcus Autelli, Selina Miles
  • Editor: Simon Njoo
  • Composer: Vincent Goodyer, Adit Gauchan

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