The labour of migrant workers on Jersey has been an important part of the island economy for more than 150 years, yet their presence on the island remains largely undocumented, from Breton farm workers to the more recent waves of Portuguese, Polish and Romanian economic migrants.
Current documentation is limited to marketing material created by industry representatives and employers, or staged photo opportunities with local media outlets. The Jersey Migrant Workers Archive aims to fill the gap in visual representation of the migrant workforce on the island. Drawn from the private archives of the workers, images and videos showing their work, living conditions, and leisure pursuits will be gathered, catalogued and incorporated into the Jersey Photographic Archives.
An important aspect of the archive is the self-representation of the workers’ lives, allowing them to take the lead in presenting their own image. The Archive will be made available to researchers, journalists, artists and anybody interested, while a public showcase is planned in 2018.
We are now ready for submissions! While Alicja Rogalska is collecting contemporary footage from the agricultural sector, we are also interested in footage from those who came to Jersey as seasonal labourers in previous decades, so please help by sharing the project with anybody you feel may be interested. To those working the fields, restaurants, hotels, oysters or building sites, did you keep any images or films that documented your experiences?
The Jersey Migrant Worker Archive was initiated by Alicja Rogalska during her one month residency with The morning boat produced by ArtHouse Jersey. You can find out more about Alicja's residency on our Artist In Residency page.
Logo design: Cristina Palamini