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Uncovering the Invisible: Portraits of Latin Americans in the UK

Date: 16/06/2014

Uncovering the Invisible: Portraits of Latin Americans in London is a photographic collaboration between British-Mexican photographers Pablo and Roxana Allison focusing on the diversity of backgrounds and life-stories of the people that make up this community. It aims to shed light on a multiethnic group that has remained almost invisible but which contributes both economically and culturally to the shaping of British society.

The exhibition is the culmination of four years' engagement with Latin Americans in London funded initially by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and more recently by The University of Nottingham and Horizon, the Digital Economy Research Institute.

The exhibition, on show at City Hall (London) from 16th June to 3rd July 2014 during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, showcases portraits of Latin Americans living in London. These portraits are part of a broader project which presents the faces and stories of the members of this community across the UK. Its objective is to support and progress official recognition of this community and to highlight and acknowledge their presence in the UK in order to reach equal opportunities, access to services and representation in parliament. This will improve their quality of life in the country they now call home.

The display involves collaboration with research fellow Dr Laura Carletti of the Horizon Digital Economy Research (University of Nottingham). The implementation and design of Near Field Communication (NFC) allows visitors to listen to the voices and stories of the people in the portraits. This pilot project is part of Horizon Research in the creative and cultural sector which aims to enhance the visiting experience by intertwining physical and digital spaces to encourage public participation and engagement.

Boris Johnson (The Mayor of London) said: Uncovering the Invisible offers a fascinating insight into their diversity, underpinning historic ties that saw the likes of Simón Bolívar, Francisco de Miranda and José de San Martín hone their ideas for revolution and independence here and our city's strengthening economic links with emerging economies of that vast continent.

Catherine Davies (Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, University of Nottingham) said: We used the statistics in Professor Cathy McIlwaine's report on Latin American migrants in London ('No Longer Invisible') funded by the Trust for London. Pablo and Roxana have put faces to the stats, and Laura's technical know-how has put voices to the faces. So now we can see that each person is Latin American but also a unique individual with an interesting story to tell.

Photographers Pablo and Roxana Allison were born in Manchester and grew up in Mexico City. Later on they returned to England where they currently live. Their photographic practice focuses on themes of cultural displacement, belonging, memory and identity.

Pablo graduated with a BA (Hons) in Documentary Photography from Newport College of Art and Design, University of Wales whilst Roxana holds a BA in Fine Art from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Their work has been exhibited in Mexico and the UK.

For further press information please contact: Danielle Moore-Chick (AHRC) on 01793 41 6021 ord.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk

Notes to editors

  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk


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