Invisible Britain: Portraits is a forthcoming ethnographic photography book edited by filmmaker Paul Sng and co-curated by Chloe Juno and Laura Dicken, that will feature stories and portraits of individuals across the UK who have been impacted by austerity and cuts to public services. From cities, towns and rural areas across Britain, 40 diverse stories of hope and hopelessness will be told from within a changing society in which many feel misrepresented in the media and out of sync with the government and politicians. The book is supported by The Young Foundation, a charity that tackles major social challenges by working alongside communities, using the tools of research and social innovation.

“Negative and stereotyping narratives which misrepresent residents of council estates, benefit claimants, migrants, refugees and other minority groups, often encourage the public to adopt detrimental opinions about those people. This stigmatisation makes it easier for politicians to make decisions that can damage those communities. Invisible Britain will explore the impact of austerity and cuts to public services and show the reality of modern Britain from the perspective of those who often feel disenfranchised by the state or misrepresented in the media.” — Paul Sng, Editor.

The idea for the book arose from a feature documentary that Sng co-directed in 2015. Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain followed the Nottingham band Sleaford Mods on a tour of the UK in the run up to the 2015 General Election, visiting some of the neglected, broken down and boarded up parts of the country that many would prefer to ignore. In each location the filmmakers met with members of the local community and asked them how austerity, de-industrialisation and unemployment had impacted on the area and what they were doing, if anything, to resist this.

Invisible Britain (Photo: Robert Clayton)

“We are approaching a golden age of British documentary photography with publishers like Cafe Royal books creating an archive of 1970s photography while the Martin Parr Foundation is rapidly becoming the centre for a new breed of photography in the UK. With its mass survey of contemporary British life, Invisible Britain is part of this trend. Invisible Britain celebrates Britain in all its diversity, but also puts social justice to the forefront by directly confronting the cruelties of Austerity Rule and putting the forgotten people of Britain at its heart.” — Colin Pantall, writer, photographer and educator.

Invisible Britain: Portraits will be published by Policy Press (a non-profit university press committed to influencing social change through international research and scholarship) and will feature the work of a number of award-winning photographers, including:

Polly Alderton, Poem Baker, Bobby Beasley, Guy Bolongaro, Carl Bull, Vanley Burke, Rob Clayton, Joanne Coates, Laura Dicken, Kat Dlugosz, Amara Eno, Alessia Gammarota, Stuart Griffiths, Debbie Humphry, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnston, Liam Jones, Chloe Juno, Gina Lundy, Kirsty Mackay, James McCourt, Jo Metson Scott,  Margaret Mitchell, Les Monaghan, Jim Mortram,  Nicola Muirhead, Joseph Murphy, Kate Nolan, Cian Oba-Smith, Graeme Oxby, Laura Pannack, Louis Qual, Gav Robinson, Gordon Roland Peden, Cindy Sasha, John Spinks, Duncan Stafford, Jon Tonks, Dan Wood, Lisa Wormsley and Fiona Yaron-Field.

There is no minimum donation and funders may choose to select from a range of rewards in return for a contribution, including copies of the book and limited edition postcards.

To pre-order the book, donate or just for more info visit the official funding page here: