Guided by the many dichotomies that exist within a hospital environment, Khan’s latest book, shot over four years, offers a rare insight into life inside the UK’s healthcare system
It is estimated that 7% of the prison population in the UK has a learning disability, compared to around 2.2% of the general population. A study by Prison Reform Trust in 2008 found that people with learning disabilities are seven times more likely to come into contact with the police, five times more likely to be subject to control and restraint, and three times more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression, and spend time in solitary confinement.
These numbers are estimates rather than straight statistics because there is no system in place to screen, identify, and record whether a prisoner has a learning disability. In a research paper from 2005, psychologist John Rack estimated that around 20% of prisoners have some form of “hidden disability” which affects their performance in education and work settings. It’s worryingly disproportionate, and it begs the question – if prisons don’t have systems in place to even identify these people, how can they begin to give them the support they need to survive in a prison environment?
Lewis Khan is a London-based photographer and filmmaker specialising in social documentary. Since graduating from UWE in Bristol, where he studied photography, he has won the 2014 Shuffle Film Festival Short Film Prize for his moving portrayal of George, a man living on the fringes of South London. He has also worked on commissions for a number of well-respected publications, including the FT Weekend Magazine. Khan’s photograph that was selected for Portrait of Britain 2017 depicts his subject, Gina, in an operating theatre after performing surgery. The portrait was taken during Khan’s time as Artist in Residence at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. During this residency, he produced a series called ‘Our NHS’, which documented the experiences of staff and patients at the hospital. The images seek to capture the emotional impact of a life spent working in the NHS, particularly during this time of difficulty within the service. Gina’s portrait is a compelling insight into the experiences of the doctors and nurses striving to keep the NHS on its feet. How did you …
“As an audience, you’re hanging from her chandelier. She’s saying things will change and get better but at the same time you’re able to decide what you look at. You do listen to her words of sadness and regret but from being in her room, you can decide what to make of it,” says Natasha Caruana ahead of her interactive exhibition being featured in the House Biennial in Brighton at the end of the month. Inspired by the theme of excess, the project follows Caruana’s mother, Penny, who lives her life in extremes: designer fashion brands are a must, hours are spent scrolling through dating apps, 50 pills a day keep her alive. But on the edges of this, are we happier and what are the social implications on are communities and are health services?
We are happy to announce the three winners for this years Intrepid Film Photography Awards!
On average, a new patient arrives through the swinging doors of the Accident and Emergency department at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport every six minutes, every single day of the year. Sam Peat, a graduate at the University of South Wales’ highly rated documentary photography course, spent months in Gwent’s A&E, capturing in colour the people who wait in those long, institutional hallways and, in intense monochrome, some of the situations and casualties they deal with. The project, says Peat, aims to explore the challenges facing the NHS. “Sometimes people would stop me in the corridors and ask me to get the doctor to hurry up,” he says on a phone call from his home in Newport. “We have the longest waiting times for a decade, and a lot of A&E departments across the whole of the NHS are understaffed.” In the small hours of the morning, Peat shows nurses working in unspoken unison, as a man with a fractured leg bares his teeth with pain. In another, he shows the streaks and swirls of plaster residue on …