The New Austerity in the Big Society


In 2012 I was commissioned by the New Economics Foundation to complete the photography and peer research element of an 18-month project exploring the cumulative impact of the economic recession, public sector cuts and efforts to build a Big Society. 


Through peer research and capacity building workshops, the project told real people’s stories of what living through the cuts is like in some of the most deprived areas of London and Birmingham.


It also tried to understand if people in areas like this can make the most of the opportunities presented in the shift towards open public services; ultimately asking, can the Big Society cut it in an age of austerity? 


The images where made using film cameras so the participants could not sell edit and encouraged them just to "shoot" what they felt. The resulting images offer a glimpse into a hidden world of poverty and isolation that only those who live these lives can truly tell.

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