This exhibition has now closed, find out what else is going on at The Photographers' Gallery

Photographs documenting the people of Corby's fight to indict the local council for negligent disposal of waste from the town's steel mills which closed in the 1980s.

Shot over 18 months, Mark Neville's social documentary project Deeds Not Words, looks at the environmental issues made public by the court case known as The Corby 16.

In 1998 Corby Borough Council was prosecuted for negligent management of the local steelworks sites. The case was brought to court by the families of 16 children born between 1985-98 with limb defects, believed to have been caused by harmful substances that were generated during the council's reclamation of the area.

Following an 11-year long legal battle which concluded in a High Court of Justice trial, the case was decided in favour of the families, yet many of the legal, medical and scientific findings remain unpublished.

Printed in 2011 as a book of photographs, scientific reports and testimonials, Deeds Not Words was used as an advocacy tool and sent to the 433 local council authorities in the UK and environmental agencies internationally.

Neville's aim was to examine the handling of toxic waste and the reuse of contaminated land.

This exhibition will be the first public display of these images, which include portraits of two of the young claimants.

They depict everyday scenes and activities in Corby, a town with a strong Scottish identity that is attempting to reestablish itself after the decline of its once-famous steelworks.

Deeds Not Words, the title for both the book and the display, is taken from Corby Borough Council's motto.

The Photographers' Gallery

16-18 Ramillies Street, London, Greater London, W1F 7LW

020 7087 9300


Opening times

Mon – Sat, 10.00 – 18.00 Thu Lates, 17.00 – 20.00 Sun, 11.00 – 18.00

Reduced price entry with National Art Pass

Haven't got your pass yet? Learn more

Exhibitions nearby

Back to top