On Wednesday 22nd February 2017 at 10.30am GMT Jim Mortram launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £8,000 to support the publication of a book of his photography. Within just eight hours it had reached its target. Within twenty-four hours it had doubled that target with twenty-seven days still to go. The book titled Small Town Inertia will be published by Bluecoat Press.
Grant Scott spoke to Jim just after the campaign had been launched about the power of community, his intentions for the work he creates, his photographic journey and why he has decided to produce a book of his work now.
Jim Mortram lives near Dereham, a small town in Norfolk. Dereham is no different from thousands of other communities throughout Britain, where increasing numbers of people struggle to survive at a time of welfare cuts and failing health services.
For the last seven years, he has been photographing the lives of people in his community who, through physical and mental problems and a failing social security system, face isolation and loneliness in their daily lives. His work covers difficult subjects such as disability, addiction and self-harm, but is always with hope and dignity, focusing upon the strength and resilience of the people he photographs.
Jim’s long-term project about those on the margins of society Small Town Inertia has resulted in many accolades. The Guardian newspaper describes his work as having ‘a timeless character that invites easy comparison with the classic documentary work of such British photographers as Chris Steel-Perkins, Paul Trevor and Chris Killip.’ He was awarded in the Digital Camera: Photographer of the Year competition 2009 and 2010. He has exhibited internationally including Camden Image Gallery 2014 and Photoville New York 2013. His published work has appeared in The Guardian, British Journal of Photography (Ones to Watch 2013), Black and White Photography, Cafe Royal Books, BBC, Professional Photographer, Flakphoto and aCurator.
You can support the Kickstarter for Small Town Inertia by visiting https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/408499994/small-town-inertia?ref=discovery
Grant Scott is the founder/curator of the United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer in Editorial and Advertising Photography at the University of Gloucestershire, a working photographer, and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Focal Press 2014) and The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Focal Press 2015).
© Grant Scott 2017