Windrush 2020 by Gil Mualem-Doron
About the Work
A moving image piece created from photographs and an interview with the participants Raj and Monique - two Jamaican teachers who were recruited to teach Maths in England and have been living in London for about two years.
The photoshoot took place at Tilbury Dock where the HMT Empire Windrush anchored on 21 June 1948 carrying hundreds of passengers from the Caribbean - invited by Britain to fill the labour shortages in the wake of the Second World War. The migrants were later referred to as "the Windrush generation". The photo series pays homage to the Windrush generation and highlights the unresolved issue of racism that affected them as well as young black new migrants. The “Windrush 2020” series is part of the No Man’s Lands (2016-) project - an on-going art and socially engaged photography project that uses a collaborative approach to convey the stories of young men in limbo situations. On the surface, the portraits are of individual men, yet as a whole, they also reflect contemporary global issues such as political persecution, the refugee crisis, racial injustice, LGBTQ rights, socio-economic inequality and homelessness.
The project, through conversations and workshops, provides participants with maximum control over their representation and the photographs. In giving up some control over the process of image-making, the photographs in No Man’s Land embody disparate photographic styles, locations, and diverse aesthetics. However, what unites them and the project is the process through which they were created and the visual traces of it.
The interest in limbo conditions is taken from Mualem-Doron’s life experiences and from his Ph.D. Research as well as from the nature of photography itself. Being in a no-man’s-land or in limbo can imply suspension and separation—the space of the hiatus. As such it is echoed photographic practice - it is an action that entails a suspension of time and space and the separation of ‘one’ and the ‘other’. Yet photography, like these in-between spaces and situations, is the result of, and engenders instability and transformation. In socially engaged practices, this instability is the result of the breaking down of ‘fixed’ positions, that of the photographer and the ‘subject’. No Man’s Land is an attempt to visually explore and represent this intersectional space.
With the support of Art Council England, part of the project was exhibited for the first time in a solo exhibition at Greatmore Studios, Cape Town, South African in February 2020 and is exhibiting until October 17th at P21 Gallery London.
Some works of the project can be viewed on https://www.gmdart.com/no-mans-lands.