The political scene in the last few years in the UK has been dominated by two significant referendums. The first in 2014 asked the question of the Scottish people: Should Scotland be an independent country? More recently in 2016 the question put to the people of the UK as a whole was: Should we leave the European Union?

ARTICLE 50

Train Stations, tombstones, borders between the living and the dead, between infinitude and the hermetic world of the city, city gates, cities unto themselves. When identities vanish train stations sprout. If every border had a train station of its own, what marvelous confusion would ensue, what a crush, what mockery
— Dasa Drndik, Trieste
The man who loves his fatherland, his nation above all else has cancelled any commitment he might have to European solidarity. To love means to esteem - even perhaps to overestimate - the object of love. To love with open eyes, critically, is something only very few people are capable of doing. Most people’s love is blind. Not only are they incapable of seeing the faults of their nation, their country, they are even inclined to see its faults as instances of human virtue
— Joseph Roth, Die Warheit, December 1934

In June 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The process of negotiation on the mechanics of leaving are underway. In Europe and throughout the West the established political landscapes are being challenged and the future of the EU is by no means certain.

Railways have been integral to the modern economic and social development of Europe, to the drive of capitalism and industrialisation and to the integration and the displacement of people. The railways have been both host and witness to Europe's modern history. The railways hold a unique position in the way we move around our environment which is routed in our collective cultural experience. Like the US road trip, railway journeys have an inherent romance, and trains - being able to carry many people with freedom to move around within them - become a moving microcosm of our society. Trains encourage interaction and chance meetings. One only has to think of the significance of inter-railing to so many young people, with the European rail network opening up before them as metaphor for their futures, to understand the significance railways have in our society. The freedom of movement, of trade and people, a fundamental tenet of the EU seems symbiotic with railways. In 1994 the Channel Tunnel opened creating a physical bond via the tracks between the UK and Europe's mainland one year after the Maastricht Treaty cemented the EU in legislation.

People making journeys throughout Europe will become the faces and provide the stories through which the work will elaborate. Interviews made alongside portraits will become a patchwork narrative describing diverse perspectives and creating an overall 'sound' of Europe. This project is also a document, both visual and literal, of a journey to understand the issues and decisions that led to the creation of the EU and its development and also to investigate the political and social issues affecting it's future.

 The European Museum. Schengen, Luxembourg.

The European Museum. Schengen, Luxembourg.

 Julien. Between Cologne and Liege

Julien. Between Cologne and Liege

 At the border with Luxembourg. Near Arlon, Belgium.

At the border with Luxembourg. Near Arlon, Belgium.

In 1920 my mother was born in Amsterdam, her brother 2 years later. They lived in Vondelstraat 7, in a posh part of town and had servants. In 1932 because of bankruptcy they fled to Belgium with hardly anything, hoping to make a new start there. After some wandering they settled in a house in the countryside near Brussels. My mother recalled she only had one pair of shoes. She had to go to a French-speaking school while she didn’t speak French. She learned quickly though and did well in school.

My grandfather had decided to start dealing in vegetables and fruit. So he went to the early morning wholesale market in Sint Katelijne Waver (close to Mechelen) and delivered to customers and shops. Soon his son joined him; going to school wasn’t really his thing anyway.
— Tilde Van Uytven

A9

On the question of Scottish independence

The A9 is the longest road in Scotland. Historically it was the main road between Edinburgh and John o’ Groats, and has been called the spine of Scotland. A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country took place on Thursday 18 September 2014. Scotland voted (narrowly) to remain part of the UK. This project looks at the topography of Scotland along the A9. The people, within these images and landscapes, were identified and asked which way they would vote.