Japan art: English working-class and Crumpsall workhouse in Manchester
The Japanese artist, Sawako Utsumi, focuses on the English working class in her latest art piece. This concerns a real photo image of the late nineteenth century, related to two children at the Crumpsall workhouse in Manchester. Other ethnic groups also resided in Manchester in the late nineteenth century. For example, Jews, Irish, Welsh, and Italians. However, the children in the workhouse in Crumpsall were mainly indigenous.
Archives Hub reports, “The new Manchester Workhouse opened in Crumpsall in 1858. The Workhouse building, called Park House, later became Springfield Hospital. The Workhouse catered for paupers, including those who were able to work, as well as orphans, the elderly, and ‘lunatics’…”
Child workers fed the Industrial Revolution – so much for “privilege” that is endlessly used against the British indigenous in recent times. The Independent reports on the findings of Oxford’s Professor Jane Humphries.
Her findings specify that roughly 35 percent of working-class boys aged 10 worked during most of the eighteenth century. However, after the inroads of the Industrial Revolution, this figure reached 55 percent between 1791-1820. This further increased to 60 percent of children in the same social and age bracket between 1821-1850 (Children below at Crumpsall workhouse – late nineteenth century).
The Independent reports, “The new research shows the extent to which Britain’s Industrial Revolution – the first in the world – was initially dependent, as far as the factories were concerned, on what were, in effect, child slaves. They weren’t paid – simply fed and given dormitory accommodation. In the 1790s, there were, at any one time, tens of thousands of such unpaid child workers.”
In Utsumi’s latest art piece (the real photo of the two children is below – the late nineteenth-century workhouse), she seeks to connect with an issue that is neglected historically – and where the indigenous poor continue to be neglected in modern times.
The Guardian reports (2019 – modern United Kingdom), “More than half of universities in England have fewer than 5% of white working-class students in their intakes, according to researchers.”
Damian Hinds, the former Education Secretary, said, “White British disadvantaged boys are the least likely of any large ethnic group to go to university. We need to ask ourselves why that is and challenge government, universities and the wider system on it. Universities need to look at the data, including dropout rates, outreach activity and admissions policies to make sure they are improving their access and successful participation.”
Friedrich Engels – concerning the nineteenth century – said, “THE GREAT MORTALITY AMONG CHILDREN of the working class, and especially among those of the factory operatives, is proof enough of the unwholesome conditions under which they pass their first years. These influences are at work, of course, among the children who survive, but not quite so powerfully as upon those who succumb...“
Utsumi provides a glimpse into the world of the late nineteenth century in her latest art piece titled “English working-class workhouse through Japanese eyes.” Educationally, the indigenous working class continues to be marginalized in modern times – notably at elite universities. Therefore, with more ethnic groups entering the United Kingdom, it seems that the indigenous working-class, Afro Caribbeans, people from Bangladesh backgrounds, and a few others will fall further down the ladder: while the indigenous don’t appear to have support groups to address this important issue.
Overall, when issues prop up concerning “privilege,” it certainly doesn’t apply to the indigenous working class historically and concerning the ongoing marginalization that continues today.
Written by Lee Jay Walker
http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi’s website
https://fineartamerica.com/featured/english-working-class-workhouse-through-japanese-eyes-sawako-utsumi.htmlEnglish working-class workhouse through Japanese eyes
https://fineartamerica.com/featured/lowry-in-japanese-bloom-sawako-utsumi.html – Lowry in Japanese Bloom
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.