"Labour of Love: the new EU generation at work"
This body of work is centered on the new generation of EU migrant workers who have come to work in the UK and with particular view on the 2007 expansion that had Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union. The environmental portraits, shot on medium format, aim to convey a positive view of the people who work in diverse industries such as leisure, the academic sector and the arts.
The majority of the portraits have been taken from October 2007 - April 2008 in Brighton, South East England, which has become a hub for Central/Eastern European workers. People included are from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria. Some have up to 3 jobs to support themselves. Most of these jobs are those that not many people are prepared to take on due to unsociable hours, weather conditions and/or little pay. This is in stark contrast to some of the scare mongering in UK press pointing to migrant workers taking away UK jobs.
The work is available as self published book and 6 prints (20”x20”) mounted on aluminium.
The book includes essays by Dr Eugenia Markova (co-author of "East European Immigration and Community Cohesion" with Prof. R. Black/ Joseph Rowntree Foundation) and another one by Daryana Kotzeva (Social and Labour Affairs, Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria- London)
The work was showcased as part of Brighton Photo Fringe 2008 at Brighton Jubillee Library and 3 of the portaits were published in the Latest 7 ‘Welcome’ column including the person’s story.
Exactely 10 years on, I am revisiting the project in view of Brexit and in preparation for a new show “Safe European Home” curated by Emma Walder at Worthing Museum and exhibited in conjunction with Delaine & Damian Le Bas and Alex Michon’s work. The show is dedicated to Delaine’s husband Damian Le Bas who unexpectedly passed away at the end of 2017.
For more images and a preview of the book please contact me.