Photo of the week

The photo of the week series is a weekly series featuring photos taken by our academics and students for our Research Photography Competition, which provides a snapshot of some of the incredible research undertaken across the BU community.


This weeks photo of the week is by Phillip Wilkinson, a lecturer in Communications, from the Faculty of Media and Communications, and is titled ‘Ethnography in a Divided Community.’

The Isle of Portland is geographically and historically divided. Its only connection to mainland England is a 2-mile road. Following this road onto the Island takes you through Underhill, a concentration of villages beneath a 500ft cliff face, to Tophill, a plateau of gentrified Victorian settlements. Historically, day-labourers, quarrymen, and fishermen lived in Underhill while farmers, land-owners, and clergy lived in Tophill. Presently, the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMP) – an amalgamation of socio-economic indicators – ranks Underhill in the UK’s top 10% for deprivation. Tophill however, is a popular location for retirees, tourists, and is the site of an ambitious Academy, seeking to uplift the broader Portland community.

It is within this Academy that I undertook my research exploring the role of technology in education and a presumed inadequate use of technology to supporting learning in the home by disadvantaged families. From this I developed a programme of community workshops focussing on family co-production of digital media such as 3D printing, stop-motion animation, and blogging. Ironically, as my research exploring technology progressed the less concerned about technology it became, instead it focussed on the division on the island and its illustration of presumptions of deficiency in society more widely.