Photographer, Luke Archer captures the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar in the lead up to Brexit
Words by Luke Archer
As Brexit draws closer Gibraltar’s shared border with Spain is under scrutiny. Despite the iconic ‘Rock’ being world renowned, Gibraltar’s history and culture is little understood beyond the peninsula itself.
Gibraltarians are proudly British, the results from two referendums (1967 and 2001) both coming in at over 90% in favour of remaining British. This national pride is often lazily portrayed in the media as ‘brits abroad’ whereas in fact the reality is far more complicated.
The Rock’s strategic location as the British Empire’s access point to the Mediterranean has insured that since gaining it in 1713, Gibraltar and its naval facilities have played a key role in most of the UK’s international conflicts.
As the Empire crumbled post WW2 and the UN pushed for decolonisation, Gibraltar remained. This does not make it a relic; despite its isolated location it shares similar ideals to the rest of the modern UK as a multi-cultural and diverse nation that has always welcomed others regardless of faith or race.
As the uncertainty of Brexit looms Gibraltar stands in a unique position, physically connected to mainland Europe and with a population that voted Remain by 96% it will soon be facing the consequences of a result it never wanted.
Stephen Burke photographs new forms of work and production in Longbridge, South-West Birmingham
Words by Stephen Burke
For 100 years, Longbridge was the site of the Longbridge Car Factory. Situated on the outskirts of Birmingham, UK, the factory was at one time the largest car plant in the world, employing thousands of people and producing iconic cars such as The Mini.
The factory collapsed in 2005, with the loss of 6,500 jobs. Since then the area has been going through a massive regeneration scheme led by developers St. Modwen. The large factory buildings have been demolished and car production has finished. The site is now home to a retail park, offices and homes, providing new forms of work and production. The project aims to explore the dramatic shift in local identity within Longbridge through the documentation of the new workforce and new products of the area. As well as subtly exploring questions about how the we way live and work in the UK has changed as a result of globalisation, and also examines the homogenisation of places as a result of regeneration.
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