Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Out of sight, out of mind

Austerity is over, Theresa May declared unequivocally at the Tory party conference earlier this month. Tell that to the subjects of Invisible Britain, a new book project published by Policy Press and led by Paul Sng, which features portraits of and interviews with those in the UK who find themselves increasingly marginalised and left behind as a result of the Tories' policy agenda. As May's preposterously ignorant comments indicate, "invisible" is evidently exactly the right choice of adjective.

This article in the British Journal of Photography gives a good sense of the book's contents. By focusing on specific people, it ensures that the marginalised aren't depicted as a faceless and nameless (and therefore easier-to-ignore) mass. Similarly, by including interviews as well as images, it gives the all-too-often voiceless a voice and allows them to tell their own stories rather than having others (however well-meaning, myself included) speak for them.

For Sng, the inspiration behind the project was filming a documentary that follows Sleaford Mods as they tour places hit hardest by deindustrialisation and austerity measures. On Saturday 3rd November, the film will be screening at Chapter, followed by a book launch and Q&A with Sng himself. Hopefully I'll be able to make it along in support of a very worthy project.

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