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'A Dangerous Figure': this is the face of Britain's unemployed youth

Across the UK, more than one million people aged 16 to 24 are unemployed. Frustration is widespread, and localized reports of competition for jobs being as high as 50 applications per position are common. Many of the unemployed are university-educated and desperate to work.

In the summer of 2011, riots spread around the UK. Although initially sparked by the police shooting of a London resident, they spilled out to other areas of the country, with high unemployment rates cited as being one of the causes. The London Borough of Haringey, which saw more than its fair share of trouble, had the highest rate of unemployment in the capital at the time.

In April 2012, artist Alexander Augustus, having experienced a long period of unemployment and unpaid internships from 2009 to 2011, began a project to try and raise awareness of the issue. After over a year working with fellow The Bite Back Movement artist Seung Youn Lee, the pair's efforts have culminated in an exhibition titled A Dangerous Figure, currently running at London's Somerset House.

Update, August 27th, 2020: Here’s a new URL in case the one linked above isn’t working.

A Dangerous Figure runs from June 25th to August 26th. Entrance is free. For more information on the exhibition, visit Somerset House's Visual Arts portal.

All photos copyright Ed Wu, courtesy of Alexander Augustus and The Bite Back Movement.


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