young carers in the Guardian

I have a piece in today’s Guardian Education section about the Young Carers Revolution. Their film will be launched on June 11th but the fantastic trailer can be seen on the Guardian website. It also contains a few of my stills, and the full film should contain more.

My young carers audio slideshow will be going out to schools along with the film on the DVD. It’s a relief that this won’t be wasted because I haven’t managed to place it anywhere in the media, either paid for or free. That is not for lack of trying and despite many people telling me they liked it.

This gets me seriously wondering about all this energy me and other photographers/journalists are currently investing in multimedia. I love taking audio and in many ways find it a more effective way of interviewing than writing everything down in shorthand, as I was trained to do. I love working with people’s voices and pairing them with images to construct narratives, which I think of like solving a huge audio jigsaw puzzle.

BUT, what’s the point if no one wants it? A three-minute audio slideshow takes me up to three days to produce….and for nothing. I can’t even give them away with my written stories. So who are we making them for – other photographers?

who cares

I’ve spent the past couple of days in York, hanging out with an amazing group of young carers who are putting together a short film aimed at raising awareness of the issues faced by teenagers like them. The group, which ranges in age from 12 to 20, are all living with responsibilities that many adults would struggle with – supporting disabled or ill parents or sibilings often both physically and emotionally. Yet they do it while retaining a sense of fun. It was humbling to work with them and to hear their stories and I’m looking forward to trying to piece together some material which will hopefully secure their campaign some wider coverage.

The numbers in the bottom photo, by the way, represent the number of years that each young person has been caring.