The Security Guard. Environmental Portraiture
Posted on December 5, 2013 by John Ferguson
I love working on personal photographic projects, I get restless when I haven’t got a project to research or work on. This project came about purely out of curiosity. A local steel factory had closed down not to far from my home in Suffolk.
The factory was huge, very dark and quite eerie. During my second visit to the Cranes steel foundry I ran into 24 year old Daula from Bangladesh, he was studying economics at the University of East London. Through an employment agency in London, Daula excepted a job from a security company to guard the disused factory, mainly from looters and trespassers like myself. “When I first started working here I was very proud to be in charge of such a place, its very big, but now I don’t like it here” he tells me. “I have to live and sleep here for two weeks each month”. Daula slept in a tiny one man caravan provided by the company, along side an extremely furious Rottweiler dog which he also had to feed. “I work to send money back to my family has well has paying rent for my flat in London”. “People come at night looking for metals, I see them, but I don’t want to talk to them. Sometimes I get very scared, but I do have my mobile phone, just in case”. He ask me, “When do you think the factory will eventually be pulled down?”
I wanted to produce a collection of strong environmental portraits whilst maintaining a cohearent narrative which runs through the main core of the story. The images were shot over a three week period, until the site was eventually pulled down and turned into a shopping retail park.