About the project
The University of Sheffield is sharing and celebrating the stories of non-UK EU staff and students who have made a life and home in Sheffield. The photography exhibition shows staff and students working and studying in the places they care about in Sheffield.
The project evolved from consultation and engagement with the University’s non-UK EU staff and students, who wanted to share their sense of belonging to the City and the communities in which they live, work and socialise, whilst highlighting their personal concerns about the vote to leave the EU and the sense of uncertainty and change that this has brought.
Portrait photographer and local Sheffield resident, Jeremy Abrahams, was commissioned to photograph 11 members of staff who represent a range of occupations and departments across the University and a range of other EU countries. Three students were also photographed as part of the project. Each participant is represented by a series of portraits and documentary-style images of them at work and in familiar places in Sheffield, helping to tell their stories about what it means to be a part of Sheffield and how they contribute to the University and the City.
The ‘A Part of Sheffield’ exhibition will be launched internally to the University community and will travel around campus through pop-up exhibitions. The project is part of The University of Sheffield’s efforts to highlight the importance of our international community. The external launch with the City will take place in the autumn.
About Jeremy Abrahams
Jeremy is new to photography. He started working as an economist in London, then trained as a teacher in Sheffield, working in Derbyshire schools for 14 years before becoming an education consultant for Barnsley Council. When he was made redundant, he took the opportunity to do a foundation degree in photography at Sheffield College. This led him to develop a new a creative career as a portrait and theatre photographer – in his words, allegedly just a few years from retirement age!
Jeremy sees migration as one of the pre-eminent issues of our age. The flow of people fleeing conflict and the free movement of labour within the EU have made us all more aware of migration issues. Yet migration has always been with us; what seems to change are attitudes towards it. Jeremy’s desire to humanise immigration and represent it positively led him to develop his photographic work in this area. ‘Arrivals: Making Sheffield Home’ at Weston Park Museum was his first solo exhibition, followed by ‘Remain / Leave’ at Sheffield Train Station. Jeremy is currently working on a project about trafficking and modern slavery for the University’s Festival of the Mind, in collaboration with academics from the University of Sheffield and three other Sheffield based organisations which support survivors of trafficking and modern slavery.
If you would like to find out more about Jeremy and his work, please see below: