The course itself has allowed me to experiment with photographic practice whilst studying geography modules exploring how our daily lives are tied up within space and place, and what this means for our experiences.
Working as a domiciliary (home) care worker alongside my studies has facilitated my final year project, an exploration of carers’ experiences in Brighton and Hove.
Can you tell us about your final year project?
My final year project, named Duty of Care, is a photographic study, inspired by my employment experiences; througout my time as a care worker, I noticed discrepancies between contractual obligations and provision of real, ‘person-centred’ care, the new buzzword in Health and Social Care discourse in the United Kingdom. To elicit this gap visually, I spent time with care workers from various agencies across the city, carrying out narrative interviews and focus groups. The work, which is often precarious, requires a multitude of labour processes which go unseen, or become normalised as agencies and clients come to expect more, whilst providing little incentive. With an ageing population, I believe there is much knowledge to be gained from creating a space where care workers can share their experiences and be rewarded instead of penalised for the life-changing work they do everyday, without qualm.
How did you find your time at Brighton?
My time at Brighton has been incredibly formative. Throughout the course, I have had the opportunity to engage with a number of modules, and have been able to tailor the degree to suit me. I have had access to fantastic technology, from cameras and editing software to the photography studio, and have been allowed to tap into the wisdom of my lecturers. My supervisor, Patricia Prieto-Blanco, had faith in my project from the beginning, and has been instrumental in its success.
I have recently won a scholarship from the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership to continue my study, comprised of an MSc and Ph.D. My thesis builds upon the work of my final year project, aiming to interrogate ad bring to light the emotional labour involved in domiciliary care work through photography. I am looking forward to continuing my study at University of Brighton.