The Photobook Advent Calendar – Dec 10th

This year, in the true spirit of Christmas, we’re doing the Miniclick Photobook Advent Calendar where we’ll look at a different photobook, newspaper, magazine or ‘zine we like by someone we’ve worked with in the last 12 months, right up until Christmas Day. To view the Advent Calendar picks so far,click here.

Day 10 – December 10th

Renee de Neve – The Lost Generation

Renee de Neve worked closely with us on a couple of events this year, both in her role as assistant for Portrait Salon and as a photographer presenting her publication, The Lost Generation, at our Paper Fair.


(photo courtesy of Renee de Neve)

“The Lost Generation” – a collaborative newspaper project started from my increasing awareness and concern of the use of the term ‘lost generation’ in relation to the coverage of youth unemployment. The newspaper details the experiences of 11 young adults from around the UK aged 18 – 28 who are or were unemployed or who have or have had difficulty in finding employment within the sector they are skilled in. 

Using portrait photography and giving each sitter their own voice through writing in their own words, I wanted to get the chance to meet my generation and bring their experiences of challenging employment opportunities directly to the forefront. To give a sense of the complexities faced by each individual, but also the widths and depths many of us go through to acquire skills, experience and knowledge to further ourselves. 

I wanted to bring an awareness to the realities, the struggles and the hope and dreams of our young people today. As well as help to dispel any myths around young peoples lack of ambition, work ethic or that the problem is so far down the road, we cannot find a way back. I hope that this project will spark a debate on our current state of youth unemployment and realise the potential pool of talent waiting to be untapped, reaping potential rewards for our society and economy.”

Anytime we hear the words “a collaborative photography / writing project” we get excited – as more and more people are self publishing (a good thing), working with other artists and creatives can work really well and make a body of images stand out a bit if done well. It’s done well here.

Renee’s 11 sensitive portraits of unemployed people aged 18 to 28 sit next to short essays and commentary from the sitters. This serves to give a real voice to something a huge amount of  young people are struggling with in this country, and shows us that background, education and upbringing seem to make little difference today. The writing is very strong and mixes information on the sitters life and their struggle to get work, occasionally purely factual and occasionally more poetic.

The Lost Generation is a newspaper containing 11 portraits and stories, plus an introduction to the project and costs £2.50 from here.


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