On January 28th 2013, the UK government unveiled plans for a High Speed railway connecting London with Birmingham and onwards to Manchester and Leeds. Dubbed HS2, this controversial scheme has developed a heated and polemic response; balancing a need to improve infrastructure and address Britain’s “ North South Divide” with the destruction of large tracts of English countryside and expenditure of 48 billion pounds of tax-payer’s money.
Shallow and repetitive media coverage immediately inspired a personal photographic project to address my own questions, concerns and curiosity. Using OS Maps to follow the exact route, I have now covered every mile from London to Birmingham. Shooting, walking and camping for 5-10 days at a time, over 10 weeks, enabled me to follow narratives and a visual trail whilst spending time within effected communities.
Although approaching from a neutral position I wish to consider both sides of the argument and attempt to balance the expenditure and demolition of habitat and buildings with the positive economic and infrastructural benefits offered.
The project has debuted across 8 pages on January 26th in The Sunday Times Magazine, with an accompanying essay by Matt Rudd, and is still available electronically. In Spring I will be continuing the project from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds and hope to both exhibit the work and contribute to HS2’s continued debate in the public sphere.