Spaniards Living In UK – Their Accomplishments, Experiences & Hope After Brexit

Maria & Simon

Maria & Simon

 

Documentary & Street Photographer Susana De Dios is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From her project ‘At Home:Europeans in The UK‘.  To see Susana’s body of work click on any image.

In the aftermath of the EU referendum, many UK-based Europeans have been left with feelings of insecurity and anxiety about what the future might hold for them and their families.

This project offers a snapshot of their experiences, capturing their thoughts and emotions following this momentous and potentially life-changing political decision.

 

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Maria & Simon

Maria came to the UK from Madrid and holds a Degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the Universidad Complutense.

She arrived in the country in 2014 and since then has taught Spanish in the higher education sector. She is currently enrolled in a Masters Programme to further her skills as a Spanish language teacher.

In the future, Maria would like to develop her own Spanish-teaching business, using her passion for cooking as a medium for teaching the language.

Simon was born in the UK to an English father and a Spanish mother. Although British by birth, he identifies more with his Spanish side.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish from Oxford University and a PhD in Spanish Theatre from Queen Mary University of London.

Simon has travelled between the two countries his whole life. In 2008 he moved to Spain and began working for a theatre company in Madrid. In 2013 he returned to the UK to work as a University lecturer, a position he still holds now.

“On the day of the referendum, I [Simon] was working at a theatre workshop in London with people from all over the world. We were all devastated. Then out came the stories in the press about people telling European waiters to go home. It was disgraceful.

Some people say that the Leave vote was a vote of punishment against Cameron and the Tories, but I think the voters are only punishing themselves. I see no positives at all in this situation. Things seem to have calmed down but you can already see some repercussions.”

“I [Maria] experienced a lot of sadness and anxiety at the beginning. It [Brexit] made me question whether this was really the place for me in the long term. I felt left out at a time when I was working hard to fit in and adapt to British culture.

However, I have had a lot of support from some sectors of society, like work colleagues and my own students. This has made me feel a bit better. I am not sure where I will end up, I’m young and there’s a whole world out there to explore.”maria-simon-6

 

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Andres & Inma

Andres and Inma come from Andalucía in Spain and have lived in the UK since 2011. They are married with a young son, who was born in England in 2013.

Andres worked as a locum pharmacist and is now setting up “El Cuervo” – his own bilingual Theatre Company. Inma has worked as a Researcher in Microbiology at the University of Nottingham and is now working as part of the scientific team of a British natural nitrogen technology company.

“It was sad to see how most of the Leave campaign was focused on immigration, blaming people like us for some of the biggest problems of this country.
After the referendum we experienced a mixture of emotions – fear, frustration, anger, a strong feeling of being unwanted.
We felt it was very irresponsible of politicians to pit one section of the population against another for their own interests, not valuing foreign workers like us for the contribution we make to the development of this country.
We are worried that this could greatly affect the peaceful coexistence between nationalities in this diverse and multicultural country. ”

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Monica

Monica was born in northern Spain and has lived in the UK since 1998. She is married with two young sons.

Through the years she has worked as a special needs teaching assistant, care in an old people’s home, and shop manager before completing an MSc in Environmental Water Management in 1999 and starting working as a Hydrologist in the year 2000 and in Integrated Environment Planning later on, a position that she still holds now.

“I believe in a world without borders and think this [Brexit] is a step backwards from that.
I am not concerned about my situation as a EU National in the UK, perhaps because I have been here for longer than the London Eye and I am both practical and resourceful, or it could be that I am still a bit in denial, I wouldn’t know.
As Murakami says in one of my favorite books, sometimes “You have to wait until tomorrow to find out what tomorrow will bring.”monica-3monica-2

 

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Anna

Anna comes from Barcelona and has lived in the country since 2008. She got married in 2009 and has a young son who has just started school.

Since arriving, Anna has worked in the hospitality sector and later on in human resources and sales for various companies. In 2015 she retrained as a nutritional coach and now runs her own fitness and nutrition business, which focuses on the emotional aspects of weight gain.

“Brexit hasn’t particularly affected my life so far. I think there is a lot of confusion at the moment, no one really knows how it’s going to turn out. In fact, since the referendum I have felt more support and kindness from English people than ever before.
I am happy and content in this country and I always try to focus on the positive. I am not worried about it, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”anna-4anna-5anna-3

 

See also:

Street

By Susana De Dios

 


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