Windrush - Leave to Remain

The term “Windrush Generation” refers to the immigrants who were invited to the UK by the British government, who were trying to rebuild after World War II. These people arrived from Caribbean colonies, first docking in the UK on MV Empire Windrush in 1948.

At the time, the British Nationality Act gave citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies the right to live in the UK. In the following 25 years, nearly half a million people relocated to the “Motherland” and helped to rebuild Great Britain physically, commercially and socially. Many children arriving from British colonies arrived with their parents, or followed them later, but didn’t travel with their own passports.

As many of the British colonies gained independence, people who had come from the Commonwealth countries had become citizens in those countries and with the introduction of the Immigration Act in 1971, Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were granted indefinite “Leave to Remain”. Furthermore, a clause in the 1999 Immigration Act protected longstanding residents of the UK from enforced removal.

In 2010, the Hostile Environment policy came into effect with Theresa May as the Home Secretary. This policy was put in place to ensure that staying in the UK as difficult as possible for non-British citizens and people who did not have Leave to Remain status. In this new legislation, the clause to protect longstanding UK residents from enforced removal was not included.

In 2013 the Home Office received numerous warnings that the people of the Windrush Generation were being treated as illegal immigrants. These individuals then started receiving Capita letters explaining that they had no right to remain in the United Kingdom, some of whom were told to leave immediately.

In 2016 the British government received correspondence from Caribbean leaders warning that many people who had spent the majority of their lives in the UK were facing deportation. After mounting pressure from the Commonwealth countries, resulted in an apology from the PM Theresa May.

Within the same year it came to light that the government was cutting off access to jobs, medical treatment, services, and bank accounts while individual cases were still being reviewed. It was also revealed that in 2010 the government had destroyed hundreds of Landing Cards that proved people’s right to remain and were making impossible demands for documentation to prove residency. Many members of the Windrush Generation who had arrived in Britain as children were wrongly detained, threatened with deportation, wrongly deported, refused re-entry to the UK when abroad and some were denied legal rights, denied benefits or medical care to which they were entitled. Many, who had paid their taxes and National Insurance contributions for decades lost their jobs or homes.

In one notable case, an individual was refused re-entry to the UK for 25 years after having traveled to the Caribbean to attend a family funeral. Another had been refused entry to the UK for 13 years, consequently not seen his daughter grow up. In one case, a gentleman with a brain tumour was made homeless and was forced to sleep on the street for years.

Members of the Windrush Generation have not only experienced a financial loss for which compensation could go some way to replace, but the psychological stress and the feeling of lost identity is irreversible.

Pal Hansen has photographed the victims of the Windrush scandal on a 5X4, large format, analogue camera. The old format camera was used as a symbol of history as well as giving each image value and each frame is carefully considered. After processing, the film was buried under ground, in British soil. This process has marked the portrait with scratches and bumps made by the earth to symbolise the scars and marks that Britain has put upon the individuals after having lived here for so many years. The film then also develops a physical root in the British landscape, much the same as the Windrush generation did when they helped rebuild war torn Britain. Finally, the process of burying the film also starts to erode the film, like the government attempts to erase the individuals from the British landscape and as a metaphor of the loss identity.



Under the Arches

London, like many other major cities, has seen many changes during in this millennia. Many parts of the city has been regenerated in the name of improvement and financial benefits. The regeneration of East London has seen old properties been torn down and replaced with new ones, wasteland been taken into use and an attempt to move criminal elements out of town.  However, the regeneration of East London also means that property have become unaffordable, especially for those with a low income. ‘Blue collar workers’, people in the service industry, creatives and socially involved communities and organisations are often forced to shut or move further out of town.  

A few of the last places that were left to be used for new, small businesses or people involved in a lower paid industry were the arches under the railways. These places, unseen by people traveling in and out of town, were considered as undesirable and through the times have had reasonable rent and been earmarked for the lower paid industries and small individual businesses. As a part of the regeneration many of these races have been refurbished and prices have increased by up to 6 times the previous price. They have become trendy and unaffordable for many small and family run businesses who have been forced to shut down or move further out of town.  

Pål’s images look to document the people who work and live under the arches. He wants to document a time of change by looking at the people who have traditionally had a life under the arches and the new generation of people moving in.  

The work is predominantly a portrait series, looking at the change of generation and character of the tenants of the arches. As well as this the portraits show the environment in which the people are interacting with now and how it is changing, supplemented with other landscape images to show a place in transition.  



One Day in Brooklyn

In February 2017 I went to New York to see Art Buyers, Producers, Picture Editors and Art Directors. I ‘popped my New York cherry’ with four fully packed days with very productive meetings. I also had one day with no meetings, and New York was my playground. Instead of seeing the sites, doing selfies in front of the Empire State Building and climbing the Statue of Liberty, I chose to take a walk through Brooklyn to see if I could find the real New Yorkers. A 14-mile walk and 12 hours later, I finished my ‘Tour de Brooklyn’. Here are some of the faces I met that wintry day.

Thank you to all of you who agreed to be photographed by me, a stranger who approached you on that cold Thursday in February. Thank you to all of you who took the time to see me and my portfolio whilst in New York, thank you to all of you who helped me by introducing me to your friends and colleagues, and a big thank you to Brooklyn for being everything I had hoped you would be. (All images were taken on Thursday 02 February 2017 between 7am and 7pm.)



Oslo to Utøya - A Man's Solitary Journey

On the 22 July 2011 Anders Behring Breivik killed eight people with a car bomb outside of the parliamentary headquarters in Oslo. Later that same day he murdered another 69 people at a summer labour party camp on the island Utøya, only thirty eight kilometres from the bomb blast. The attack was a complete surprise leaving the Norwegian people and the world at large in a state of shock.

As with the attack on the twin towers there was an initial sense of disbelief, a stunned silence emanating from ground zero encompassed, first Norway and then the world. All eyes were turned to Norway and behind them all were the questions. Who? How? Why? The finger of blame was inevitably and mistakenly directed at Al Qaeda and the ‘experts’ ridiculed the idea that this might be the act of a lone assassin. But as the world’s attention was focused on Oslo one man had already turned his back on the carnage. Alone, he drove out of the city taking with him the much-needed answers and a small armoury. For this man all was clear and everything was in order. The curtain had descended over the shattered stage of act one and was about to rise on the even bloodier tragedy of act two.

The journey between Oslo and Utøya is not a long one, only forty minutes without traffic. It’s a route that is well known to most of Oslo, as it leads to popular holiday destinations. For many it is associated with the pleasure of heading somewhere to relax and unwind. On 22 July 2011 the meaning of this route was subverted as it underwent a metamorphosis, stripped of its innocence it was transformed into a macabre thread linking two scenes of indescribable horror. I photographed this journey from ground zero to ground zero, looking only one way, in the direction that a determined Anders Behring Breivik would have looked.

These dark and mysterious photographs are reminiscent of CCTV footage, giving the viewer a feeling of secretly watching. The distortion of the images enhances this feeling, as if we are seeing the route through the eyes of a disturbed man, through the eyes of Anders Behring Breivik? We are presented with a distorted vision of the surroundings, as a green and lush landscape is transformed into a grey forbidding one.

It is the time between the explosion in Oslo and the shootings on the island, the unknown moments unfolding minute by minute that have inspired me to take these photographs. The unfolding of events is emphasized by the use of Polaroid film. Polaroid is a slightly contradictory medium, it is immediate but not instant, between capturing an image and viewing it there is an enforced pause, a minute or two of contemplation before the revelation. I did not perhaps realise at the time that the images - dark and distorted - would not only be my way of paying tribute to the victims but would also reflect my own feelings towards my own country, feelings of alienation, of not quite being able to see my homeland as other Norwegians’ see it.

Lastly this series of images have an undertone of the lost. Polaroid film has been out of production for seven years and the film used to shoot this story is also out of date by five years, this adds an unpredictable dimension to the work. The reason I bulk purchased the film in 2005 was with the intention of using it to photograph something that disappears, something that fades away. It took six years before I finally found a subject that I thought was worthy of this rare film. The news of the atrocities came as a shock to me. The loss of so many lives and the fear that the killings would now be a major blow to the freedom, which I so fondly remembers from my years growing up in Norway.

These photographs of the journey from Oslo to Utøya, are not only an attempt to capture the sombre and inexplicable moments between the two attacks but are also a personal journey for me, and a way for me to commemorate those who died on that summers day in 2011.



Behind Closed Doors

The little commuter town 'Antioch', an hour east of San Francisco, made international headlines for all the wrong reasons: This small Californian City had been the home of Phillip Craig Garrido, the abductor of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was kidnapped, kept "imprisoned" for 18 years in his back garden.

As the discovery of slowly unravelled it was also made public that the city with just over 90,000 inhabitants has been the residential home of 123 sex offenders, many of which were offenders against children.

Megan's Law is a website in the USA that names and shames all sex offenders to make it easier for parents to protect their children against people who have offended before. Using the Megan's Law's website I travelled to Antioch to photograph the houses of convicted sex offenders. The seemingly normal houses could be the neighbour houses of any suburban American City. The houses of Antioch give us a disturbing feeling that these sex offenders could be anyone's neighbours. No tell-tell signs or no obvious feeling of a ghetto, the middle-class suburban buildings are the shelters of men and women who have offended against children and who may or may not offend again. In some of the pictures one can even see the evidence of children nearby or in the houses, making this normal image seem even more chilling: The feeling one has about these houses have through the information given been turned from being idyllic homes of residents to fortresses or prisons meant to hold a secret and keep unwanted people out who may reveal their secret. A toy outside has turned from the innocent to an enticing toy. The blinds and shutters on the windows have turned from being something that keeps the bad out of a house to keep a bad secret inside the house.

To enhance the uncomfortable viewing of these images the captions read exactly how the offence is listed on Megan’s Law’s website.

(These images were photographed in 2009 and the residents of the properties may have moved on since then.)




Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialised Western civilisation during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.



Damien Hirst at Sotheby's

In 2008 Damien Hirst shattered world records and changed the art market forever with an auction that made him more than £111 million. It was a case of perfect timing as it was only moments before the banking crisis and big investors were looking for new investments.

The following images were a part of an exclusive cover story for Time Magazine in the run-up to the Auction. Behind the scene at Sotheby’s as Damien was preparing for the auction.



Fat Camp

For some youngsters losing weight is almost an impossibility while living in their home environment. The need for a completely new environment, new routines, as well as the support from others in the same situation and people who have the expertise and knowledge, is essential. The Fat Camps are summer camps meant to introduce a more active life as well as a manageable diet that they can adopt and take home. To take part in these intense camps is a challenge to individuals as well as their families.



Fight Club

This form of black-tie charity event is hosted and performed by London’s bankers and city workers. They are trained for three to six months in boxing. At the end, they are let loose in the ring to fight each other. Some of the income from the raffles and high priced tickets go to charity.




In the last decade, Burlesque has seen a huge comeback in London. I spent a while following UK’s most respected Burlesque Dancer Immodesty Blaze on her nights, and the dancers that danced with her.



Social and Leisure Dance

This series of images focuses on the different social and leisure dances. Dance has an importance in all cultures as a social ritual, a form of exercise or even in some cases a religious ritual, All dancers involved in the project are the best in the UK and often the world. The venues have been carefully sourced in order to represent the dances’ history and feel.



Teenage Parents

The UK has the biggest number of teenage pregnancies in Europe. More than 40,000 teenagers become pregnant every year, this means 1 in 10 pregnant women is a teenager (8,111 of these are under the age of 16).

There is a common stigma of being a teenage parent. The tabloid press often depicts the teenage parents as naïve, irresponsible and belong to the lower socio-economic groups. They are often accused of having children to receive more benefit or to enable them to jump up the housing list.

I wanted with this series of images and interview to look at teenage parenthood from a teenager's point of view. I wanted to look at the causes and effects for the teenagers and the joys and complications that come with having a child at a young age.

The images you see here are a small part of the series and are of teenagers from different socio-economic backgrounds and from different parts of the UK.



Freetown Christiania

Christiania, Denmark is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood of about 850 residents in Christianshavn, a part of the Danish capital Copenhagen. The old army barracks, lake and green area was occupied by people looking for an alternative society in 1971.

This set of images were taken on Christiania’s 30th anniversary. It had then become known for it’s alternative way of living, for being fore front in environmental initiatives and inventions, creativity and for ‘Pusher Street’. The latter is a market like street where cannabis is sold freely. The community is a police free community that is regulated by a special law, The Christiania Law of 1989 which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Copenhagen to the state.

The images are supported by quotes from the individuals and their experience living in the alternative community.



Jewish London

I live on the doorstep of one of London's biggest Orthodox Jewish communities. This community is often an isolated and self-sufficient community in the midst of a very integrated London community.

Wanting to break down the boundaries and to gain a greater understanding of what it is to live in an orthodox Jewish community in London, I gained access into the family of Rabbi Herschel Gluck. I followed Rabbi Gluck and his family in day to day living and all the religious events that I was allowed to photograph.



Foot and Mouth: The Human Cost

The outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth disease in the UK in 2001 caused a big crisis in British agriculture and tourism. The epizootic was the cause of the slaughtering of 10 million sheep and cattle.

The culling of animals was well documented visually in the press but there was little focus on the effect of the Foot & Mouth crises on the farmers, rural residents and the tourist industry. These images are a result of travelling across the country interviewing people who were all affected by the foot and mouth crisis. Everyone from farmers - to beekeepers - to hotel owners - to kids, opened up to Pal Hansen and told of the devastating effect the culling had on them and the countryside.

The disease was halted by October 2001.



Sons and Daughters of King David

Religion and Communism are incompatible, both theoretically and practically. Saying this Cuba is know to have a strong following of Catholics and a strong following of the Afro-Caribbean religion Santeria. However, other religions are experiencing a harder time on the island.

Having Jamaica as its closest neighbour one would think that Rastafarianism would have a greater influence in Cuba. The strict control of religious media has meant that smaller religions like Rastafarianism have struggled to find roots. The small community of Cuban Rastas in Havana struggle to gain access to literature, music and other religious related items to help them worship their religion. Due to picking up pirate radio stations from Jamaica at Cuba's most southerly point Santiago and tourists bringing in what they can of books and music, the small community have managed to create a base in Havana too. This group struggle with prejudice and police harassment but stand strong in their faith.