A photo essay by Pedro Albuquerque, a database administrator for systems applications at EMBL-EBI, shows the internationality of the Wellcome Genome Campus, and conveys feelings of both longing for home and love for science.
By Pedro Albuquerque
My interest in photography started when I was doing the last year of my MA in NYC in 2007, where I met my first photography tutor. He introduced me to film and photography, and since then I have become more and more interested in telling stories about people, using pictures.
I recently completed the Reportage Photography course at the University of Arts London, which inspired me to look more closely at my everyday work environment. It is such a multicultural environment, made up of people who come from so many different countries. I wanted to learn what makes the people I see everyday unique, not just in appearance but in their past experiences and cultural heritage. In exploring this, I learned how all these factors benefit both personal well-being and the quality of science on the Wellcome Genome Campus.
One from Many: Perspectives on a Multicultural Environment is a photo essay documenting the role of different cultural heritages and backgrounds in a science and technology community.
One from Many: Perspectives on a Multicultural Environment is the culmination of what I learned from the course and about our campus culture. It is a photo essay, in the form of a printed book, that documents the role of different cultural heritages and backgrounds, highlighting the influence they can ultimately have on science.
Developed and documented at EMBL-EBI, One of Many is a collection of photos of and quotes from some of the 1800 people who work on the Campus, including individuals representing EMBL-EBI, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the catering service and the ground staff. The people who gave their time to this project represent only a very small fraction of the many cultures on campus, each of which contributes to both the excellent science and technology conducted on site but and also to a uniquely supportive and forward-looking environment.
I set out to visually document this diversity through a series of photographs complemented by small interviews, capturing elements of where people come from, what brought them here, what they have brought from home and how they feel about science. I try to convey the significance of their land of origin by asking them to display an item of personal significance that links them with their past and humanises their workplace. I hope these small glimpses into the lives of people on our campus will inspire you to look at your colleagues in a new way, and perhaps appreciate the unique blend of heritage, personality and experience every member of our community brings to the table.