A Working Life
The same ragged copy of Studs Terkel's Working that I devoured in my early twenties still sits on our bookshelf. I flipped out when I first discovered Terkel because I'd long had an interest the stories of what people actually do and Terkel's book delivered the goods with such straight-upness that I couldn't put it down.
When I eventually came to making photography and film/video work I had it in the back of my mind that a project exploring these central ideas would be great to take on. For me, It's basically remained floating in the ideaspehere, so I was pleased to discover a great new series called “A Working Day” that is doing excellent work in this area. The project comes as an offshoot of The Book of Life and the results are short, elegant portraits of people and how their work engages them in the world around them. The first few in the series feature a Farmer in Yorkshire, a Dress Maker in Ghana and a newsagent in Birmingham as well as others. The films are produced in collaboration with Jeremy Riggall at Sketch Films.
And—much more than a side note here: if you aren’t familiar with School of Life or the work of Alain de Botton please be sure to dig into it. I'm a huge fan of what they are doing with books, essays and short-form video focused on emotional intelligence and the questions central to being human. There are many, many videos on a great number of subjects on the School of Life Youtube channel but here's a favourite in our home to start of with...