AMY ROMER (Vancouver, Canada)
Amy Romer is a British documentary photographer, based in Vancouver. Romer’s work is concerned with human rights and social issues, covering stories such as modern slavery and medical assistance in dying (MAID). Romer has seen exposure for her work on a number of online platforms including Prison Photography, Vantage, LeftABit and The International Slavery Museum and has been featured on David Campany and Sharron Lovell’s Multimedia Week podcast for her work on U.K. modern slavery, entitled “The Dark Figure*”.
She is the recent winner of PhotoVoice’s photo talent contest on the theme “Youth” for her collaborative work with 12-year-old Alfred living with Asperger’s syndrome, where she and Alfred made “In A Sense” – a multimedia video about his Asperger’s.
Romer’s photography has been exhibited in a number of galleries in London, Devon and Cornwall, including 71a Gallery in Hoxton and The Fish Factory in Cornwall. Romer graduated from Falmouth University’s BA(Hons) Press & Editorial Photography with a First-class degree in 2015. In 2016, she moved to Vancouver with her partner and is finding inspiration for new stories in new places, whilst continuing to work remotely on “The Dark Figure*”.
To learn more about “The Dark Figure*”, visit thedarkfigure.co.uk
Slavery is not an issue confined to history, or an issue that exists only in certain countries. It is a global problem that is still happening today, and the UK is no exception. In 2015, there were 3266 recorded victims of slavery in the UK. However, this number counts only for those first encountered, who then testified. This, coupled with slavery’s hidden nature means that actual numbers are far higher. *Scientific Adviser Prof. Silverman has estimated there to be 13,000 slaves in the UK today. This estimation is referred to as “the dark figure”. Modern slavery transcends age, gender and ethnicities and spans across industries such as agriculture and the sex trade, to name a few. Although it is difficult to determine what problems exist where, it is certain that slavery exists everywhere. The Dark Figure* seeks to raise awareness about slavery in Britain by mapping neighbourhoods where such crimes have taken place. Each image reveals a neighbourhood affected by slavery. The image is placed alongside a caption revealing the street address of the crime and an OS location pinpointing the distance between you the viewer, and the physical crime scene. Images are then coupled with fully researched, police approved stories describing each case, with the intent to inform, overwhelm and ultimately change the perspective of its audience.
Full stories: www.thedarkfigure.co.uk.
Practice Statement: How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
For me, using film allows me the opportunity to slow down and really look at things. In an age where we are expected to move faster and faster with every software update, I can remind myself and hopefully others to just stop and look around, as the most everyday scene has a story to tell, and its often hidden in plain sight. In a landscape project like “The Dark Figure*”, I want the audience to engage as much as I am in my practice. Film provides me with a quality and pace I cannot replicate or experience digitally, which I also feel honours my subject matter.