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“I want the viewer to ask themselves a question about how society operates, how choice is related to opportunity and environment. To see that sometimes people choose what they do because really, not much has been offered in the first place.” –Margaret Mitchell
112 pages, 70 photographs
27cm x 24cm, Hardback
Foreword by Alasdair Foster and texts by Margaret Mitchell.
PASSAGE brings together two connected bodies of work, Family and In This Place, spanning more than 20 years in the lives of Margaret Mitchell’s extended family. Within these pages, Mitchell asks questions on the nature of disadvantage and privilege, bringing together a history covering class, opportunity and inequality. Three generations lay out their lives reflecting not only on the personal but also the political in a story of love and loss with social inequality at its heart.
In 1994, Mitchell photographed her sister and her three children in a project that looked at familial bonds lived out under difficult social and economic circumstances in central Scotland. From 2015, she began the process of updating the family’s story, documenting where their lives had taken them and the limitations that had followed them from childhood. The two projects, side by side, expose the cyclical and inescapable nature of social inequality and prompt sobering questions about how a lack of opportunity in our childhood limits the choices we are able to make throughout life.
In over 20 years, the children from 1994 had not moved far, socially or economically, and the adults they had become were a product of all that had gone before. For Mitchell, this left a question in her mind, what was the role of environment and opportunity in their lives — how much choice had they ever actually had, and how much was predetermined for them? A work that is at once extremely personal, and undeniably universal and political.
“Margaret Mitchell’s photographs speak with quiet determination, requiring time and deeper reflection. They remind us of the injustices that live among us while remaining just beyond conscious perception. They ask us not just to look, but to see and to care.”
– Alasdair Foster
Mitchell has exhibited widely including at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow and at the National Portrait Gallery, London as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize (2014 & 2022). Her work has been acquired for permanent collections including the National Galleries of Scotland and the Martin Parr Foundation. Recognition includes within the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award (2022: Honourable Mention), the Sony World Photography Awards (2018, Contemporary Issues, 2nd) and the Royal Photographic Society IPE (2017, 1st).
Passage was longlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2022)
|Dimensions||30 × 24 × 2 cm|