What does Brexit mean for love?
It’s not something most of us are thinking about – we’re much too busy worrying about passports and economic implications. But when Britain severs its ties with the European Union, it’s likely to have an effect on relationships, not only thanks to Brexit-themed arguments with your other half, but because thousands of people face the possibility of losing the right to work in the UK, meaning they’ll need to leave the country they share with their partner. To explore the impact of looming Brexit on romantic relationships, Laura Pannack has worked on a photo series, called Separation.
Commissioned by the British Journal of Photography, the series features real couples who, as a result of Brexit, have been forced to ponder separation, divided by a sheer sheet. ‘We wanted to focus on love – a universal topic that everyone could relate to – but equally identify a theme that was current and specific,’ Laura tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Ultimately we wanted to present a diverse selection of viewpoints and experiences.
‘Given more time, I would love to expand the series to include couples that voted for Britain to leave the EU.
’ Along with posing for the photographs each couple spoke about the future of their relationship and the impact Brexit will have – it was an emotional experience.
‘It was such a physical task (with regards to our setup) that most of the emotion came from the interviews,’ explains Laura.
‘Before the project I hadn’t really considered the butterfly effect of Brexit and how it will make many couples reconsider so many aspects of their future together.
‘I began to think more about family structure and the next generation. Focusing on something as simple as love allowed me to consider the real impact that Brexit has on individuals and families.
‘We have a tendency to detach ourselves from political conversations. Separation brings attention to the reality of what impact Brexit has and may have.
‘It’s important that people don’t feel isolated and that we can support and understand one another in order to build our strength in a challenging time.’
Nadia and Paul
Nadia is Italian and Paul is British. They met through a house-share in Cheltenham before moving to London together, along with Rodrigo the cat.
‘I had a view of Britain as a multi-cultural melting pot that accepts everyone and embraces difference,’ says Nadia.
‘When the referendum result was announced, it was clear that the reality is very different.
‘I am sad that this nice country, one that once accepted the world, is closing its doors, but at the same time I don’t feel pushed away by the vote.
‘Brexit means that Paul will need to marry me so I can stay in the UK.’
Celia and Chris
Celia is Spanish and Chris is British. They met on Tinder and have been in a relationship for three years.
‘I feel privileged to have come to the UK to study at Central Saint Martins. One of the aspects that makes CSM so special is its international atmosphere,’ says Celia. ‘It breeds creativity and this is the same reason why London’s creative industries are so exciting.
‘Brexit will no doubt change this and one of the most important positives of the city will be lost.
‘I am keen to work in the UK after I graduate, but I now fear that it will be much harder to secure a job. The possibility of studying an MA is also highly unlikely after Brexit, particularly if university fees for European students increase further.’
Ellie and Lars
Ellie is Bulgarian and Lars is British. They met at a carnival in Brighton
‘For the entirety of the 10 years that I have lived in the UK, I have been lucky to be surrounded by lovely people,’ says Ellie. ‘No one has ever pulled a face when I told them where I was from and I’ve never experienced homophobic abuse.
‘I doubt that would be the case if I was in Bulgaria.
‘What upset me about the Brexit vote was the reality that not some, but over half of the population would rather not be part of the EU.
‘Many jobs in the creative entertainment industry are contract-based, and not necessarily in the same country. A post-Brexit UK will make life harder for both European and British creatives who want to work on big productions.
‘I now have to spend nearly £1,300 to get citizenship (fingers crossed it doesn’t fall through) mainly because Lars and I want to live and work in Barcelona.
‘I don’t want to leave the UK to have my history erased and then find out that I can’t come back to the country which I’ve spent most of my adult life in.’
To see the rest of the series and interviews, head to Laura’s website or the British Journal of Photography.