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J A Mortram
Worked at I'm a carer in my family home
Lives in East Anglia
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J A Mortram

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#smalltowninertia New story, now live.

It was as though watching a man drowning beneath the ice. I see him hitching for breath, chest heaving, eyes wild, fingers whipping at the indifferent, almost invisible, wall above.

I can do nothing but witness.

I, as trapped in these moments, as he imprisoned below, our eyes now connected. His fear, his absolute and consuming terror is loud within his gaze, as loud, I imagine, as his frozen water screams, muted by the barrier between us.

His fear resonates, pulsates with the realisation that we are both completely aware of what is happening and both completely helpless to alter a single fucking thing.

It was watching time run out.

It was watching a trapped man caught in the throes of desperation.

It was watching a car crash in slow motion.

It was watching a plane fall from the sky, aflame.

It was face pressed to the observation slit upon the cell of a forgotten and falsely imprisoned man in solitary confinement.

It was each and all of these things.

It was as though they were all real.

It was and is, this real.

Witnessing Tilney1’s battle with Paranoid Schizophrenia over the course of the past 12 months, his medication changes, his endurance in isolation, his fight to exist and to navigate existence with and often without the regular support and contact with professional care teams, has been both terrifying and illuminating.

Living alone can often be a vicious limbo. Coupled with Tilney1’s symptoms, fears and the crippling effects of his diagnosis and medications, life for Tilney1 has been brutal.

A change in C.P.N’s (Community Psychiatric Nurse) home visits from crisis teams dwindling, due to their own battle with staffing and budget cuts to local mental health services, led to Tilney1 missing medication. It began, slowly. A missed pill here, a skipped pill there. Soon, bags of unopened medication were stockpiled within his bathroom.

With each pill missed, a little more of Tilney1’s character traits, for years suppressed by medication, would rush to the surface. It was a dangerous game, addictive. With each pill missed, a little more self-confidence and a little more, a little more, a little more.

A dangerous game, for soon, without correct and timetabled medication, with no medicinal brakes nor physical checks to slow his diagnosis and it’s multiple symptoms, this initial rush of confidence, of euphoria, would lead to mania and manic episodes.

A potent and cruel trick, being so close to a remembered self, to be led by a hand, so soothing, to seem in reality to be escaping the trap of the prison within the self, yet all the while being led to the inevitable crash. Especially cruel as Tilney1 was able to watch all this happening to himself, to have that insight, possess that awareness, yet to be completely incapable of intervening, of stopping, to be trapped beneath the ice, screaming for a way out.

Please consider donating to Norfolk & Suffolk mental health crisis the largest grassroots local mental health campaign in the country with over 2,300 supporters.

Please consider donating to the mental health charity Mind whose helplines are open for people in need of vital crisis support.
“You get depressed about your diagnosis and what people think about you. I always think about it, it is a severe mental illness, that I have and if you're thinking about these things, in the loneliness that I have and you hear all the sounds, see the shapes… it's very difficult for me.”.
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J A Mortram

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#smalltowninertia Really honoured to place second in this months Pixelrights competition (For the second month in succession!) so to celebrate and drum up some much needed funds for the long form Small Town Inertia series, I've decided to make and sell some more prints of this photograph, 'Anglia Square'.

All prints I make myself using a Canon Pro1 printer upon Hahnemuhle 315gsm Photo Rag Baryta paper, archive quality. Prints are A3, signed, wrapped in acid free paper and flat packed to ensure safe transit.

Mail me at for all the details.

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J A Mortram

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J A Mortram

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‪#‎smalltowninertia‬ Was a real pleasure to meet with Neale James late last week and make this interview together, thanks, mate. Thanks also to Simon for being such a gracious host!.
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J A Mortram

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This blog post features Jim Mortram. A talented photographer who captures the everyday lives of those who live in Dereham (County of Norfolf, UK, which is very
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Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of t…
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J A Mortram

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Lessons I've learnt from the work of Jim Mortram.
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‘Middle England’ by John Myers was made, in most part, between the years 1972 - 1975, documenting the landscape, interiors, individuals and families in and around Stourbridge and the Black Country,...
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Interested in documentary photography?

Want to find compelling stories but not sure where to look?

Curious about the ethics of representation?

Watch this; an insightful film by Neale James about photographer Jim Mortram and his ongoing documentary work with his small community in Dereham, Norfolk.
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Images & stories from the documentary series Small Town Inertia
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David is my friend and he is blind. He has taught me untold amounts about photography and its purpose.
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Award winning Social Documentary Photographer. Member of & creator of Small Town Inertia 
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East Anglia
  • I'm a carer in my family home
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J A Mortram's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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