Chris Gilligan is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of the West of Scotland.
Ethical concerns can just as easily be motivated by an evasion of responsibility, as they can by a desire to capture the displacement of people from history-making. The absence of people in documentary photography can be an accurate picture of the position of the people in contemporary society, but this absence can also amount to an attempt to evade the question Where are the people?
The absence of people in these photographs indicates the key way in which the rooms portrayed here differ from the waiting spaces which are familiar to us. These are Removal Centres. They exist to remove people from public view. The people who are incarcerated here are removed from the streets.