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.
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.