In Iraq, life expectancy is 67. Minutes from Glasgow city centre, it’s 54

The North South Divide

For here in this multi-deprived inner city area, the average life expectancy of a male is just 53.9 years. In Iraq, after 10 years of sanctions, a war and a continuing conflict, suicide bombs and insurgency, the average man has a good chance of making it into his 60s; the life expectancy of a male there is 67.49. In Iran it is 69.96, in North Korea, 71.37 and in the Gaza Strip it is 70.5.

The health area covering Kensington & Chelsea had the UK’s highest life expectancy at birth, 84.4 years for men and 89.0 years for women.

For men, Greater Glasgow & Clyde had the lowest life expectancy 73.1 and 78.9 years for women, which was also the lowest in the UK.

It is even worse in a small pocket of Glasgow known as the Calton.  (where the W.H.O. puts average male life expectancy at 54) In these Glasgow communities I will be looking at their day-to-day lives of the commuters (possibly the people on the street) , then doing parallel lives in K&C. 

It struck me as ridiculous that in my home town of Glasgow the average age a person could hope to reach was 54 whereas in Iraq, after 10 years of sanctions, a war and a continuing conflict, suicide bombs and insurgency, the average person has a good chance of making it into their 60s. In Kensington and Chelsea a person could expect to live well in to 80s.  I wanted to look at these two locations that form part of the same kingdom through the prism of a bus window and see if you could spot their differences by just looking at their top halves.
I’ve never taken a formal portrait in my life, but due to the proximity of the shots some of them have become intimate portraits. I think they capture something a posed photograph never could. The subject might be deep in thought and caught at a moment when they don’t imagine anyone is watching. Even when they do catch my eye it’s fleeting, like I’m in their periphery of vision. Some people spot me and get annoyed but it doesn’t happen as often as you might think.

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