Five Pounds in my Pocket
by Shaista Chishty

project STATEMENT

Five Pounds in My Pocket is a documentary series exploring the stories of those who moved from Pakistan to Birmingham, United Kingdom, from the 1950s to 1970s.

The project, inspired by the ongoing demonization and dehumanization of migrants in our mainstream media, explores the rollercoaster journey of new beginnings for many who told me they came to the U.K. with just five pounds in their pockets.

The final series brings together interviews, portraits, and personal archival images/objects. The stories are touching, beautiful, and always positive. The juxtaposition alongside news archives from the national press around the same time challenge us. The starkly contrasting stories serve as a reminder of how Brown bodies have been “othered,” and how such dehumanization continues to be normalized as stories about migration continue to dominate our news headlines.

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