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Who Cares

POSTED: 10 April 2020

In the history of the visual archive and post-colonial critique, it is disabled, ageing and infirm bodies that remain marginal - Yasmin Gunaratnam, in our Who Cares newspaper

These photographs by Sonal Kantaria and Sangita Mistry feel more relevant than ever, quietly yet powerfully probing the intersections of isolation, age, care and migration. They appeared in our newspaper about end of life care and cultural difference, published back in 2014. We've made it a free download.

Questions of care - who cares? who is cared for? what are the dimensions of care? – are critical now as care staff are overwhelmed and at risk, and some sections of society are cast as being more disposable than others. It’s something we’ve been thinking about a lot at Autograph.

Yasmin Gunaratnam’s essay In Extremis (it’s in the newspaper) unpacks unacknowledged realities of the world of aging migrants. She poetically touches on the needs and psychological dimensions of elderly migrants being cared for, and the role of migrants as carers. Sonal and Sangita’s photographs of culturally-specific care homes and residential housing document this world and its residents with dignity and empathy – a kind of care work done with the camera.

Autograph is a charity, and normally we sell our newspapers to help raise funds for our work. However, our shop is closed as all staff are working remotely, and we felt strongly enough about the question of care to make this newspaper a free download in the meantime. If you find it useful, or informative, or simply want to see us continue to explore these issues – please consider making a donation.

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Download our Who Cares Newspaper here

Mark Sealy (our Director) recommends looking at Marcia Michaels’ work, and also Keri Pickett’s work in the book Love in the 90s: B.B. & Jo - The Story of a Lifelong Love: A Granddaughter's Portrait, both examples of the care work that can be done with the camera

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Images, from top left: 1) Sonal Kantaria c. 2012. Resident was 82 years of age. She has tears in her eyes when she talked about her family. 2) Sonal Kantaria, c. 2012. The residents pass their days in this room. Resident sits in the living room in a line of red armchairs.