Hope. Despair. Miracles.

(2019 - 2024)

Two of the portraits included in 'Hope. Despair. Miracles.' are winners of the British Journal of Photography Portrait of Britain Vol. 6 Award 2024.

The publication is available to purchase here.

'Hope. Despair. Miracles.' is currently being exhibited for the first time at Waterside Arts' Lauriston Gallery from Saturday 27th January to 13th April 2024. 

Press pack available to download here.

Emerging in 2019 from a need to feel hopeful, Hope. Despair. Miracles. focuses on the ordinary people making a real difference, often invisible to the many but emitting a tangible effect in our neighbourhoods.

It celebrates and honours the grassroots and individuals, that make small changes with a huge positive impact on everyday life through a combination of considered portraits, landscapes and written word. Alongside the imagery sits a commentary on socio-economic inequality in today’s Britain and the resilience of its multi-ethnic communities.

Fourteenyears ago, I left Mexico, my motherland, to cross the ocean in search of my British identity, carrying with me a romanticised idea of the so-called'developed world.’ Manchester, my birthplace, is now my second home.

Moving here opened my eyes to a rich mix of worlds, drawn from a historical Empire, that cohabit and collide. I live in Longsight, a densely populated multicultural neighbourhood known for its large Pakistani community established here in the 1960s; it is in essence, the closest version of Mexico I found accidentally.

It is not obvious at first sight, but the area’s chaotic surface conceals an abundance of changemakers that deserve recognition and remind us that a book or a place should never be judged by its front cover.

In a post-Brexit UK and post-Covid world that is enduring a cost-of-living crisis, ‘Hope. Despair. Miracles.’ shows us hope through action; that people-led change is attainable through the power of togetherness. To remain hopeful, the images invite us to find beauty in the ordinary and shift our focus onto the small wins, those that happen within our own sphere. These wins, in the face of great odds, can seem like miracles.

With financial support from Manchester City Council, the project has been made into a 64-page, full-colournewsprint including photography portraits and landscapes as well as written word by participants; plus a short introductory essay by Roxana, and contributions by local residents and people that work in the area. All texts are in Englishand Urdu, reflecting Longsight’s large Urdu speaking communities.