As I was photographing and looking for locations I began to see how important that land was. The dependence of the agricultural industry and the years of EU migrants establishing themselves in the communities set against the attitudes of some who long for “the way things used to be” has put many young people in the middle, often subjected to the vile rhetoric and expected to adhere to the family stance even if they do not agree. They are often forced to live behind their own masks to keep peace in their immediate environments. This work attempts to let them tell their stories in their own way as I collaborated with them in the creation of their portraits and allow them to address “The Elephant in the Room; Brexit.” It began without showing their face so that they could be honest in their opinions. I have been looking at the impact of Brexit on British and European youth as well as their family and friends using a balance of freedom of choice to allow you to see true feelings or, if they have reasons why they can only be shown or shared with an external mask. But as it developed the mask was beginning to be a small part of a very big story.
We explored a moment in time, a sense of being in that moment, a connection to current life and experiences, which relate to current political society and use of freedom of speech. My book was not about the right and wrongs of deciding to vote to leave but looking at one aspect of Brexit, immigration and local effects but also the impact an adult voting choices has had on their children. Children being bullied because of a parent's decision, when in reality most children do not even know or can begin to understand the implications of voting either way.
In researching and building this project, it became very obvious that amount of intolerance to other nationalities there is in especially Lincolnshire, is increasing. Many are going back to their country of origin as they feel un-wanted or they can no longer afford to live here. When I saw the field workers waiting to be collected for work I saw not one British person among them and when you apply for a job in a factory some people have been told they would be bullied or feel isolated if they were British. The land matters.
Like Peter Mitchel in Leeds. the Land and building a real part of the soul of the town and I need that in the narrative. So went out to environment shooting much more Landscape and shops. Peter’s series A New Refutation of the Viking 4 Space Mission displays the photographer’s affection and care towards capturing a city he holds dear with a unique narrative. The series follows the concept that “an alien has landed from Mars and is wandering around Leeds with a degree of surprise and puzzlement”. Featuring both landscape and portrait photography, the images first shown in 1979 act as essential documentation of not only Leeds but colour photography. “In the Earthly vernacular these photographs are of Nowheresville. Yet, for some people they are the centre of the universe. Usually they call it home.” (Accessed November 2019)
Clémentine Sniedermann said in her exhibition of they called it flaswin. The intention was also to change the narrative in photography around small towns and communities. “I wanted to challenge the perpetuation of misery when it comes to represent struggling communities by incorporating a series of elements that would effectively defy my own view on these places,” Clémentine says. “Looking at contemporary documentary photography, I sometimes feel that there is a lack of optimism and everything is looking very serious and formal. With the theatrics I used with my models the aim initially was to keep the mood light and fun but it was such a serious subject and any aspect of fun seemed to downplay the seriousness of what my narrative was. I, like David Moore said in his video guest lecture on the course, he is all about longevity of relationships, revisiting people and places. I intend to look back at the people and how Brexit changes their lives.
https://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/peter-mitchell-photography-150517 accessed November (2019)