Jim Mortram

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Jim A. Mortram (born 10 September 1971)[1] is a British social documentary photographer and writer, based in Dereham, Norfolk.[2][3] His ongoing project using photography and writing, Small Town Inertia, records the lives of a number of disadvantaged and marginalised people living near to his home,[4] in order to tell stories he believes are under-reported.[5] This work is published on his website,[5] in a few zines published in 2013,[6] and in the book Small Town Inertia (2017).

Small Town Inertia[edit]

Mortram began the Small Town Inertia website in 2006 with the "Market Town" stories. Its name is a reference to the market town of Dereham, where he lives, fifteen miles west of the city of Norwich in Norfolk. Through photography, his writing and the subject's own words, Mortram records the lives of the disadvantaged and marginalised,[3][4] making repeated visits with a number of people living within three miles of his home.[5] Small Town Inertia tells stories of "isolation, poverty, drug abuse, homelesness, self-harm, mental illness, juvenile crime, and epilepsy",[5][7] that Mortram believes are otherwise under-reported.[5]

Dave Stelfox wrote in The Guardian that "Mortram's rich, black-and-white images possess a timeless quality that invites easy comparison with the classic documentary work of such British photographers as Chris Steele Perkins, Paul Trevor and Chris Killip."[2]


Publications by Mortram[edit]

  • Small Town Inertia. Liverpool: Bluecoat. With a poem by Jamie Thrashivoulou, "A Privatised Map of Deprivation", and essays by Paul Mason, "A Memento of the Dark Times", and Lewis K. Bush, "A War of Poverty". Hardback, 2017; ISBN 978-1908457363. Paperback, 2018; ISBN 9781908457370.

Zines by Mortram[edit]

  • Electric Tears and All Their Portent. Southport: Café Royal, 2013. Edition of 150 copies.[n 1]
  • Living with Epilepsy. Southport: Café Royal, 2013. Edition of 150 copies.[n 2]
  • Small Town Inertia: Diary Entries. Southport: Café Royal, 2013. Edition of 150 copies. With a short text by George Szirtes.[n 3]
    • Second edition. Southport: Café Royal, 2022.
  • Small Town Inertia: Diary Entries 2. Southport: Café Royal, 2022. With a short essay by Michael Sheen.[n 4]

Publications with contributions by Mortram[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]



  1. ^ Electric Tears and All Their Portent in the Café Royal Books archive.
  2. ^ Living with Epilepsy in the Café Royal Books archive.
  3. ^ Small Town Inertia: Diary Entries in the Café Royal Books archive.
  4. ^ Small Town Inertia: Diary Entries 2 in the Café Royal Books archive.


  1. ^ "About"[better source needed]. Facebook. Accessed 23 April 2017
  2. ^ a b Stelfox, Dave (19 February 2014). "'I photograph people who don't have a voice': Jim Mortram's Norfolk portraits". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b Coomes, Phil (27 September 2012). "Jim Mortram's Small Town Inertia". BBC News. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Metering masterclass: achieving perfect exposures in different lighting conditions". Amateur Photographer. 23 July 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e McGuinness, Ross (25 July 2012). "Photographer Jim Mortram gives new voice to marginalised in Market Town". Metro. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  6. ^ Abraham, Amelia (25 November 2014). "Café Royal Publish Exactly One Great Photobook Every Week". Vice. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Ones to Watch: Jim Mortram". British Journal of Photography. 160 (7808): 50–51. 2013.
  8. ^ "Small Town Inertia – Jim Mortram | Bank Street Arts". Archived from the original on 30 December 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Small Town Inertia". Small Town Inertia. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  10. ^ Gareth (8 January 2013). "Small Town Inertia". Open College of the Arts. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Small Town Inertia". Photoville. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Exhibition – Small Town Inertia". Edge Hill University. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Jim Mortram 28 August 3 September 2014". Camden Image Gallery.[dead link]
  14. ^ "J A Mortram: Small Town Inertia". Amber Film & Photography Collective. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Q&A: JA Mortram on his ten-year project Small Town Inertia". British Journal of Photography. 7 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.

External links[edit]