ABBA Super Troupers
Southbank Centre

14 December 2017 - 29 April 2018


YOUTH CLUB have contributed images to the immersive ABBA exhibition at the Southbank Centre. The exhibition explores how ABBA took over 1970s Britain through 9 immersive rooms dedicated to the music, lyrics and lives of the band. 

YOUTH CLUB contributed images exploring British youth and subculture at the time ABBA swept the nation, providing context to their rise. 

You can find out more about the exhibition here

Unite & Take Over
Camden Market
1 April - 30 May 2017

 © Normski

© Normski

YOUTH CLUB launches ‘Unite and Take Over’, a spirited new exhibition celebrating unity and activism through the power of subculture. Located within the iconic Camden Market, ‘Unite and Take Over’ is a call to action for young people to stand up and be heard. Featuring photography shot over the last 3 decades, the exhibition journeys through some of London’s most celebrated subcultures and countercultures from the ravers of the 1980s to the 2000s Grime MCs of east London.

Connected through the common thread of self expression and unity, ‘Unite and Take Over’ is a nod to the 1987 ‘The Smiths’ track whilst raising topical issues faced by young people today. With todays youth faced with unrivalled club closures and political unrest, ‘Unite and Take Over’ encourages young Londoners to dress up and take a stance. The exhibition showcases photographs taken by authentic participants of subculture and activism, featuring work by photographers such as Gavin Watson, Matthew Smith, Molly Macindoe, Dave Swindells, Giles Moberley and Normski.

Housed within the Camden Stables Market, ‘Unite and Take Over’ will host a range of youth culture events, talks and screenings throughout the 6 week duration. The venue will serve as an ‘adult youth club’, serving old school snacks, drinks and exclusive new merchandise whilst encouraging visitors to hang out within the iconic Victorian warehouse. Vintage arcade games, table tennis and lava lamps will challenge even the most conservative of visitors to lounge on a bean bag, drink an Irn Bru, and pin their favourite track to the playlist wall.

Address: Camden Market, Second Floor, Provender Building, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH.
Nearest station: Camden Town and Chalk Farm.
Opening hours: Weekdays: 11am - 6pm / Weekends: 11am - 8pm

Youth Britannia
Rio 2016, British House, Rio De Janeiro

August 2016 

Collaborating with Culture Diary, YOUTH CLUB were invited to curate and produce an exhibition for British House in Rio de Janeiro - theUK’s official residence at Rio 2016 and the place to celebrate the best of British culture. Celebrating Britain’s pioneering role in the creation of youth and subculture and our role in promoting creativity on the worldwide stage, the exhibition comprised of 100 images and was well received by a wide range of Team GB athletes, dignitaries and the British Ambassador for Brazil.

A catalyst for creativity on the worldwide stage, British Youth Culture movements from the Teddy Boys of the 1950s to the Grime Scene of the 2000s continue to play a pioneering role in music, fashion and creativity across the globe. 

Youth Britannia is a digital exhibition celebrating the diversity, self-expression and creative innovation flourished out of Britain's influential Youth Culture movements.

Teen Spirit
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

28th August to 30th November 2016 

In celebration of the British rite of passage of attending your first gig, Teen Spirit celebrates these formative years and lifelong friendships formed through the collective experiences of live music. 

This photography exhibition, co-curated by YOUTH CLUB and Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, features photographers including David Swindells and Dean Chalkley and is a nod to the personal stories and profound moments that helped us find our first ‘tribe’, going on to shape our adult identities and creative vision. From seeing your favourite band for the first time, to bravely embracing the chaos of the mosh pit, this collection of photographs from the 90’s and 00’s recognises the sense of belonging and friendships that are forged in this vital rite of passage. 

Amidst a sea of online music discovery, Teen Spirit highlights the importance of nurturing gig culture and the essential roles of venues and festivals across the country in this process. A world where your feet stick to the carpets and your brand new footwear comes home covered in gig scum.  The time where you enter your scene for the first time and the feeling that nothing will ever be the same again…

The exhibition opens as part of ‘A Summer Affair’, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen’s bank holiday celebration of independent music and culture. The exhibition runs until the end of November 2016. 

Check out coverage from VICE here.

Normski First Tuesdays
Doomed Gallery

Tuesday 2nd August 2016.

Normski at Doomed Gallery for YOUTH CLUB's First Tuesdays Photographer Talks in association with PUNK London and Dazed and Confused.

Auspicious Moments
Lomography Store Soho

July - September

A rare insight into the height of DIY culture, the work of renowned youth culture photographer, anthropologist and writer Ted Polhemus takes us on a journey back to the gritty origins of the Kings Road. A local punk hotspot, teenagers would gather in droves to hang out on London’s coolest street corner. Auspicious Moments is an intimate view into the fashions, hairstyles and friendships of these roadside trendsetters.

Lomography teams up with YOUTH CLUB Archive on this two month long exhibition celebrating the vital role of West London Punks in these formative years for youth culture.

Auspicious Moments is proudly part of PUNK London, a citywide initiative to support the 40th Anniversary of Punk.


DIY Feminine Attitude
W Hotel Leicester Square
July - September

Celebrating the pivotal role of femininity and androgyny in the Punk scene, DIY Feminine Attitude is a photography exhibition looking at the revolutionary styles and fashion details liberated by Punk’s Do-It-Yourself ethos. From Punks hanging out at The Roxy, to teenage music lovers in their bedrooms, DIY Feminine Attitude is a celebration of the movement’s inclusivity felt across the globe.

W London - Leicester Square teams up with YOUTH CLUB Archive on this intimate exhibition revisiting these formative years for youth culture.

DIY Feminine Attitude is proudly part of PUNK London, a citywide initiative to support the 40th Anniversary of Punk.

Origins East
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

Celebrating the importance of nightlife and self-expression in the wake of relentless club closures, Origins East harks back to the defining days of rave culture, acid jazz, and bhangra.

Origins East celebrates the influential role of late 80s British rave culture and its evolution into 90s nightlife and its part in the awakening and regeneration of Shoreditch and Hoxton Square, an area once described as a 'derelict urban wasteland', Exhibited at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, this photography exhibition delves into the unique energy that forged a creative pilgrimage east.

Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen has seen its fair share of music history since opening its doors in 2001 and significantly, is also next to the site that once held the pivotal ‘Blue Note’ club - a venue defined by relationships with seminal label figureheads like James Lavelle, Goldie and Gilles Peterson throughout the 90’s.

Showcasing an arsenal of prolific youth culture photographers from YOUTH CLUB Archive Dave Swindells, Gavin Watson, Adam Friedman and Teddy FitzhughOrigins East is just as much a celebration of free expression as it is a call-to-action for future partygoers.   


Dazed and Confused wrote an article about the exhibition HERE

MixMag wrote an article about the exhibition HERE (we particularly enjoy the byline 'Before the days of Pret on Brick Lane')

Creative Review wrote an article about the exhibition HERE

We Heart wrote a great feature about the exhibition HERE

As part of Origins East, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen hosted a panel discussion with Dave Swindells and Gavin Watson, and chaired by Bill Brewster about the emergence of rave culture and its transformation into club culture, eventually bringing the movement to East London. 

Owen Harvey First Tuesdays
Doomed Gallery

Tuesday 5th July 2016.

Owen Harvey at Doomed Gallery for YOUTH CLUB's First Tuesdays Photographer Talks in association with PUNK London and Dazed and Confused.


Molly Macindoe First Tuesdays
Doomed Gallery

Tuesday 7th June 2016

Molly Macindoe at Doomed Gallery for YOUTH CLUB's First Tuesdays Photographer Talks in association with PUNK London and Dazed and Confused.


Punk Weekender
he Photographers' Gallery
23rd - 26th June 2016

As part of the year long Punk London festival, the Photographer's Gallery has organised a Punk Weekender. The showcase includes YOUTH CLUB/PYMCA photographer's Gavin Watson, Janette Beckman and Owen Harvey, as well as archival images from the YOUTH CLUB/PYMCA archive. 

The Punk Weekender is a cultural examination of the punk movement, with a focus on the ideological, social and political context for its insurgence in Soho and Greater London. The programme explores the Do-It-Yourself ethos and avant- garde spirit that led to various punk subcultures and the reinvention of self- expression and personal identity which played out against the turbulent politics and economics of late 1970s Britain.


 Gavin Watson

Gavin Watson

 Owen Harvey

Owen Harvey

 Janette Beckman

Janette Beckman

Young People in the Digital Age
Park Theatre

Director Prav MJ tours the YOUTH CLUB exhibition 'Young People in the Digital Age' at the Park Theatre curated to accompany the play 'Sket'.

19th April - 14th May 2016.

Dave Swindells First Tuesdays
Doomed Gallery
Tuesday 3th May 2016.

Dave Swindells at Doomed Gallery for YOUTH CLUB's First Tuesdays Photographer Talks in association with PUNK London and Dazed and Confused.


Gavin Watson First Tuesdays
Doomed Gallery

Tuesday 5th April 2016

Gavin Watson at Doomed Gallery for YOUTH CLUB's First Tuesdays Photographer Talks in association with PUNK London and Dazed and Confused.

Matthew Smith First Tuesdays
Doomed Gallery

Tuesday 1st March 2016

As part of a new series in collaboration with Doomed Gallery, Youth Club will be presenting the work of one of our photographers in celebration of youth subculture. The one-night event, on the first Tuesday of every month, will include a talk by the photographer, a pop-up exhibition and a limited edition zine. 

Kicking off the series is Matthew Smith, who will be talking about rave culture and activism. We will be launching the new Matthew Smith online archive at the same time. 

Lost in Music
Village Underground

December 2015

Youth Club Archive presents in collaboration with theprintspace, Lost in Music, a photographic celebration of dance music and club culture, with images from the YOUTH CLUB/PYMCA archive. Taking over the Village Underground for one night, Lost in Music brings together music with photography and film from the birth of club culture up to the present day. 

This one-off event will be followed by an exhibition at the Print Space London, entitled Lost In Music, a photographic history of dance music & global club culture from its beginnings to the present day - and beyond. 

Lost in Music is a tribute to the obsessives, the hedonists, the musical eccentrics and the dancers who were the founding members of the dance music institution and those who continue to fuel its evolution. To the artists developing wild new techniques to re-imagine recorded music, in the process revolutionising the way we create and enjoy it. To all those Lost in Music- past, present and future.

More information about the event can be found here.

4th December 2015

One Nation Under a Groove
Southbank Centre

June - September 2015

Youth Club Archive presents One Nation Under a Groove, a 3 month exhibition for Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love. The exhibition explores the key role youth movements and subcultures play in forging relationships, friendships, families and communities. Covering the rich history of the tribes, subcultures, sounds and style that span the generations and genres. 

The exhibition includes 120 iconic images from the PYMCA featuring over 50 photographers including Gavin Watson, David Swindells, Janette Beckman, Normski, Phil Knott, Derek Ridgers, Chris Porsz and Richard Braine.

A screening room showing the highly acclaimed Music Nation series by Dazed Digital alongside documentaries from independent film-makers including Will Robson-Scott, Simon Wheatley and Nick Cunard. Guest collections from British Record Shop Archive, Fiona Cartledge from Sign of the Times, Steve Proctor resident DJ at Shoom, Jon Swinstead, Wayne Hemingway and the Hyman Archive. 

The exhibition also includes interactive areas including; 

  • Youth Club photo-booth in collaboration with Simple Booth
  • Design your own custom t-shirt on 27” touch screens with YR Store
  • Free drop in badge making workshops 
  • #COLLECTIVEMEMORY installation 
  • Our Soundtrack installation. Listen HERE  
  • Live art from guest artists including Inkie, Mark Wigan and Panik
  • Street Photography workshops 

6th June to 31st August 2015

Southbank Cenrre

April 2015

Breaking The Mould explores the explosion of youth culture from the 1950s to the present day. Curated in association with Southbank Centre's Youth Ambassadors, the exhibition looks at tribes, sub-cultures and music across different eras.

From the Teddy boys of the 1950s to the mods of the 1960s, the hippies of the 1970s and the punks of the 1980s, youth culture is constantly shifting and changing as the world around it changes.

The changes you see in the fashions and styles worn by individuals in these pictures link to changes going on in the wider world and in popular culture. They reflect social, cultural and political shifts of everyday life.

All the images seen in this exhibition are drawn from PYMCA (Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive). PYMCA is the specialist image and research library for global youth culture, lifestyle and music.

This archive of over 55,000 photographs is sourced from all over the world, documenting the lifestyles, fashions, hairstyles, music and subcultures of young people from the 1940s to the present day.


We are excited to be part of Free the Night, the first ever photography exhibition in Westmister Station part of the Night Tube Firsts to celebrate 6 months from the start of 24hr tube service. Contributing 5 images from the PYMCA archive by photographers; Ted Polhemus, John Phillips, Chris Stewart, Catherine Holmes and Naki. 

The pieces celebrate the capital's rich history of arts and culture and capture a range of perspectives on the night time and its possibilities for those passing through the station.

Delivered in partnership for the Night Tube Firsts with TFL and Annin Arts Gallery, the show features large-scale photographic works arranged in the station's alcoves. There are 24  images in total;

free-the-night-1-528x352 (1).jpg


An exhibition from iconic images from the archive, representing a range of youth subculture tribe nuances and styles, shying away from the obvious and providing an unseen insight into the undiscovered within some of Britain’s most notorious youth groups. Our specialist photographers were very much involved with the scenes themselves and this selection represents a sense of inclusivity and continuity. Many of these scenes/tribes are instantly recognisable yet shot from the hip, evoking the public’s own memories of youth expression as if these could be part of their own photo albums. 


A celebration of Rockabilly, Rockers & Teddy Boy style past and present.

The exhibition was a collaboration between YOUTH CLUB and the renowned Rockabilly barber Mr Ducktail and 50s beauty stylist Miss Betty. Featured in the show were photographs from the PYMCA archive by Tim ScottLeonie MorseRichard BraineRobin Maddock and Ester Segarra plus many more shots from the 50s to the present.


INSIDE JOB was a collaborative exhibition featuring Lawrence Watson’s world renowned photographs featuring music legends from rock, hip hop & britpop plus a selection of jackets from bespoke street wear label, House of Billiam. The centrepiece of the exhibition was a YOUTH CLUB commissioned House of Billiam varsity jacket in trademark YOUTH CLUB colours with the lining made from an iconic photograph taken by PYMCA contributor Lawrence Watson.


YOUNG SOULS by Dean Chalkley touches on the culture of Northern Soul. Working to a theme based around ‘Religion’ with art, fashion and culture title 125 magazine, the exhibition of still photographs was produced to coincide with the release of Chalkley’s short film of the same name.

“I didn’t set out to create the definitive story of Northern Soul, but I did aim to celebrate it. The Photographic aspect is a study focusing on the current burgeoning generation of young people getting into the Scene, whereas the film brings the atmosphere and wonder of Northern Soul to life.” 
– Dean Chalkley


By Ted Polhemus – Exhibition & Book Launch by PYMCA

“Streetstyle is my sartorial bible”  – Chloe Sevigny in The New York Times
“Without the Hipsters, Teddy Boys, Beats, Rockabillies, Rude Boys, Mods, Surfers, Hippies, Punks, B-Boys, Ravers, Harajuku Girls – and all the other streetstyle originals – most of us would be left without anything to wear. But the sharp suits, leather jackets, jeans, kaftans, flares, DMs, slick locks and so forth are only the visible, tangible part of this legacy. Oozing through the clothes, hairstyles, make-up and accessories is an attitude. An attitude which perhaps more than any other set the tone of life in the second half of the twentieth century and which shows no sign of dissipating in the twenty-first.” 
– Ted Polhemus


In 2009 PYMCA was approached by The Royal Albert Hall to exhibit as part of its Reflect series. The exhibition featured photography, archive video footage and text, documenting the history, lifestyles, fashions, hairstyles, music and subcultures of young people in Britain over the past 50 years.


“What intrigues me are the motivations to dress-up, the resourcefulness and the need to be seen as an individual.” 
– Paul Hartnett.

To celebrate a vivid youth culture documented over the last three decades, PYMCA created HARTNETT – 76>NOW, a retrospective of Paul Hartnett’s impressive photographic work that over the years has painstakingly documented midnight’s children and their club culture from around the world.

“My pictures do not glamourise the subject. If anything it is the bloodshot eyes, gaping pores and psychology beyond the make-up that I want a viewer to probe. The often pathetic and low level functioning of reality of midnight’s children and the sheep-like fashion crowd.” 
– Paul Hartnett.


To celebrate all things Hip Hop and the 25th anniversary of the release of the definitive Hip Hop film ‘Wild Style’PYMCA created WILDSTYLES, an exhibition that featured classic rare photographs hailing back to the ‘old skool’ days.

Taking you back to the halcyon days of Adidas shell toes and Run DMC, WILDSTYLES, was an exhibition that took you to the heart of hip hop, showing how this music became a way of life for a global through the eyes of those who were there. Photographers involved included NormskiJanette BeckmanEddie OtchereTed PolhemusNakiPaul HartnettPeter AndersonAdam Friedman and many more…

“The best part of my Youth was at the same time as Hip hop the voice and culture of a generation was invented. Suddenly there was a scene, a sound and similar people on the other side of the world that I could relate to. It was as if everybody could have an identity that would speak for him or her. Just because some of us were from poor backgrounds didn’t mean we couldn’t feel rich and hip hop culture is all about showing what you can do and expressing yourself fully.” 
- Normski


20 years of Acid House and Rave culture from ’87 – ’07 by PYMCA

From clubs such as Shoom, The Trip and Spectrum in London and Manchester’s Hacienda, through to orbital raves around the M25 and the mid nineties Hardcore and Drum & Bass scenes, the exhibition covered all styles and sounds up to the ‘New Rave’ and ‘Electro’ scenes taking over clubland.

The exhibition contained the unique images of Dave Swindells who photographed the original Acid House and Rave scenes as well as images by Tristan O’NeillPeter J Walsh,NakiMatthew SmithSuzy del Campo plus many more.


THIS WAS ENGLAND was created to coincide with the release of the film This is England by Shane Meadows, PYMCA presented an exhibition of skinhead culture from the early 1980s upon which the film which is based. The exhibition moved to the BFI Southbank for the premiere of the film.

Containing the unique collection of Gavin Watson from the book ‘Skins’, the exhibition offered a unique insight into the lives of young members of this subculture in this turbulent era.

“The influence of SKINHEADS has spread a lot wider than just small groups of people wearing big boots and shaving their heads, their neighbours, family, the community and the people that hated us etc. The stories are the most important thing. The story’s, the myths, the memories, that’s what all this is about really, memories of the time when you were young and didn’t give a fuck or at least pretended you didn’t. I feel it is important to explain the amount of transformations I went through in the years of growing up. Being a skinhead always seemed to be there whether I was losing my virginity or standing in a field nearly ten years later with thousands of ravers.” 
– Gavin Watson

Featured photographers included: Gavin WatsonJohn G ByrneJanette BeckmanToni TyePeter AndersonTed PolhemusRichard Braine & Paul Hartnett