A portrait of the Central and Eastern European communities living in Sandwell, home to the biggest Polish population in the UK. The photographs were taken during a two year period against a backdrop of divisive geopolitical rhetoric following the 2016 EU referendum. Thanks to their generosity, the project also reveals much about the cultural identity and hopes and fears for the future of each subject. The series explores a question that reaches beyond borders: what binds a community to make a place home?
Jon Tonks is a British photographer living in Bath, UK. His work focuses on telling stories about people’s lives shaped by history and geography. He has been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing National Portrait Prize three times, twice for the Terry O’Neill award and, in 2014, Tonks was presented with the Vic Odden Award by the Royal Photographic Society for his first book Empire – a journey across the South Atlantic exploring life on four remote British Overseas Territories.
24 May – 29 June 2019, former retail unit in West Bromwich, Sandwell, as part of BLAST! Festival by Multistory. Curated by Anneka French.