Jim Mortram lives near Dereham, a small town in Norfolk. Dereham is no different from thousands of other communities throughout Britain, where increasing numbers of people struggle to survive at a time of welfare cuts and failing health services.
For over seven years, Jim has been photographing the lives of people in his community who, through physical and mental problems and a failing social security system, face isolation and loneliness in their daily lives. His work covers difficult subjects such as disability, addiction and self-harm, but is always with hope and dignity, focusing upon the strength and resilience of the people he photographs.
Small Town Inertia is a remarkable body of work. A full-time carer for his mother, Jim is, like his subjects, unable to escape from the geographical confines of his hometown and his understanding and sympathy for his struggling neighbours is apparent in every photograph.
This is a timely book; a firm rebuttal of damaging government welfare policies and their well-used rhetoric that ‘we are all in this together.’