One from Many

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.

One from Many
One from Many: A photo essay by Pedro Albuquerque, EMBL-EBI

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: Aleksandra
Aleksandra, Scientific Database Curator. From Russia, in the UK since 2013. What does science mean to you? “It is an integral part of my life, my passion. I love science, and am always happy to learn new ideas and curious to know how scientific concepts are progressing and developing in time, how paradigms are changing through generations.” Object: Cross-stitched landscape, “Autumn in Homeland”. PHOTO: Pedro Albuquerque

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.

One from Many: Raban
Raban, Data Scientist. From Zimbabwe, in the UK since 2014. What does science mean to you? “Science is the foundation of mankind and seeks to discover what nature is, and how it can benefit society.” Object: Two clay pots, designs used since the iron age to prepare and store drinks. PHOTO: Pedro Albuquerque

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.

One from Many
One from Many: Perspectives on a Multicultural Environment, by Pedro Albuquerque, is available for purchase (http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/6053661-one-from-many). A copy is also available for viewing in External Relations at EMBL-EBI.

Tags: embl-ebi, genome campus, science and society


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