Hard To Place

For all loves never allowed to be.

Hard To Place is a true story about race, family and the child welfare system in post-war Britain.

Combining confidential, UK government documentation with archival and (auto)biographical photography, this series traces the experience of Joseph, an orphan boy of Nigerian and Irish parentage growing up in 1960s/70s London. As a “half-cast(e)” child, in England, Joseph was considered “hard to place” amongst the mostly white, adoptive families.

Joseph is my husband. On our first date he nervously told me his life story, continuously pulling at his sleeves to hide the ink of bad decisions made during his teenage years as a black skinhead. The little boy seen in Hard To Place is our son. The images in the book provide a visual alternative to the official, master narrative of child welfare that many mixed-race children are imprisoned by.

Self Published, 2016
Printed by Conveyor Arts
60 pages, 6 x 8.5"
Paperback (Perfect Bound)

The Hard to Place photobook is available for purchase online and in the following bookstores and shops: 

Additional Reading: 

1. Essay by Paula Kupfer.

2. Personal essay and response by Dr. Alexandrina Agloro for the Mixed Roots Stories February 2016 Commons.

3. Essay by Amanda Chesnutt.