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Chris Bertram

Sunday photoblogging: cones

by Chris Bertram on May 9, 2021

Marseillan, cones

Sunday photoblogging: Ashton Avenue Bridge

by Chris Bertram on May 2, 2021

Another iPhone panorama

Three Bridges 3: Ashton Avenue Bridge

Sunday photoblogging: crane reflection

by Chris Bertram on April 25, 2021

Crane reflection

Sunday photoblogging: car reflections

by Chris Bertram on April 18, 2021

Another in a series

Car reflections

Sunday photoblogging: sparrow

by Chris Bertram on April 11, 2021


Sunday photoblogging: flag

by Chris Bertram on April 4, 2021


I spend yesterday reading Emily Kenway’s excellent The Truth About Modern Slavery (Pluto Press, 2021). Kenway, a former advisor to the UK’s anti-slavery commissioner has her sights set on one of the most pernicious moral panics of recent years, espoused by right-wing politicians and “radical feminists” alike and used to legitimize a range of policy interventions, but particularly the hardening of borders, increased surveillance and, in relation to the sex industry, the “Nordic model”. Kenway’s argument is that the “modern slavery” industry, leveraging a parallel with actual slavery that is unjustified, promotes a focus on practices of coercion and exploitation that are represented as exceptional and abusive and as contaminating a system of labour and employment that is otherwise well-functioning. It leads to a discourse that emphasises the rescuing of victims from the evil gangs that exploit them and obscures the fact that the everyday operations of capitalism and the nation state generate the the conditions under which people make choices, often freely and rationally, to accept pretty horrible conditions, because those conditions are, for them, the best ones on offer. The book is very much focused on the UK, but readers elsewhere will certainly find parallels in their own countries.

Kenway is very good on the way in which the very same politician who have made “modern slavery” into a crusade have also been the ones who have increased the precarity that marginalized workers and irregular migrants experience. At the same time as May was issuing declarations on the subject, she was pioneering, as UK Home Secretary, the Hostile Environment that made it far more difficulty for migrants to get employment in the regular economy. Kenway highlights the ambigious status that workers at the sharp end of this discourse have: victims, if they are found dead in a trailer or “rescued” from a brothel; perpetrators and immigration offenders if they emerge from a trailer alive. The book is very up to date, but since its publication Priti Patel, the UK’s new Home Secretary, introducing a yet more restrictive immigration regime has complained that “illegals” are “abusing” the modern slavery protections in order to remain in the UK. So it goes.
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Sunday photoblogging: Paris café

by Chris Bertram on March 28, 2021

What wouldn’t I give to be in Paris right now!
Paris café at night

Sunday photoblogging: Hebron Road panorama

by Chris Bertram on March 21, 2021

I was reading the excellent The Online Photographer the other day and Mike Johnston was writing about how he’s been using his iPhone to make more panoramas recently. I’ve never really done this, so I thought I’d have a go.

Hebron Road, Bedminster, Bristol BS3

Sunday photoblogging: magpies

by Chris Bertram on March 14, 2021


Sunday photoblogging: crocus with ant

by Chris Bertram on February 28, 2021

Crocus with ant

Sunday photoblogging: Ashton Avenue bridge (2)

by Chris Bertram on February 21, 2021

This is from the same sequence as last week’s picture. Some people seem to like it more, and it provides some context for the previous photo also.

Ashton Avenue Bridge

Sunday photoblogging: Ashton Avenue Bridge

by Chris Bertram on February 14, 2021

Ashton Avenue Bridge

Sunday photoblogging: a new kid on the block

by Chris Bertram on February 7, 2021

Up at Alderman Moore’s allotments in Bristol there’s a new young fox with a very healthy-looking coat. He came by to say hello yesterday.

Fox at Alderman Moore's allotments

Sunday photoblogging: Reims cathedral

by Chris Bertram on January 31, 2021

Reims- Cathedral