Face It 2015 is a portrait series exploring immigration, inspired by my own experienced living overseas as well as the current debate on this complex social issue back in Europe. 

I left work in London as a BBC World Service Journalist to move to Beijing, before the 2008 Olympic Games. Swept up by the pace and scale of change in China, and the visual impact of an economy in overdrive, I switched career to pursue my passion for story-telling through photography. 

That experience gave me a new world view. I became a migrant, helping me empathise with those adapting to another culture, far from home. My work also provided a unique insight into perceptions of China from all over the world. Ones often very different from the reality I knew.  This, in turn, led to a more nuanced view on life at home, and in particular the rhetoric around the immigration debate. 

Face It 2015 is the result. I chose a consistent lighting style normally used in high end, commercial production, but applied to a story that matters. And to illustrate the portraits with a personal narrative, direct from each contributor.

The hope is to bring people who are connected to the issue, from all communities and levels of society, together on a level visual playing field. And create a more accessible, humanising counterpoint on immigration than mainstream media coverage has achieved. 

Face It 2015 is neither profit making, nor political. People are invited to engage and get in touch with their stories and views, from all corners of the debate. It's about bringing art, the news agenda and social media together in a single, interactive space. I hope it can play a fresh and constructive role.

Ben McMillan

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