Easter Project

 

The field in the background would become the proposed third runway.

The field in the background would become the proposed third runway.

March 20 marks the last day of our first term of class.  During the four week break we are to find a story that will produce 12-16 images for a photographic essay.  For the past two weeks or so I have been going on a 90 minute one-way tube and bus journey to the small village of Sipson, North of London’s Heathrow airport.  A proposed expansion of Heathrow will result in the destruction of Sipson, its 700 homes and businesses, and the displacement of over 3000 people.  I have been using a 4×5 camera to try and capture the village, it’s inhabitants, landscapes and architecture.  According to a manorial document, the village dates back as far as 1110 when it was referred to as Sebbiston.  

A real challenge so far has been the speed of setup of the camera.  This as a result hampers my ability to shoot large quantities of film.  It has certainly been an adjustment and it makes the pre-production more important than the shooting.  Logistics, without the aide of a vehicle, are problematic but not such an issue that it grinds shooting to a halt.  The process is interesting though and makes the planning of a photograph more essential than the actual click of the shutter.

My work prior to a shot entails making contact with those I wish to photograph and make sure they are available during a set time when I can see them.  I recently canvassed the village with about 150 flyers.  I got a response from about 5.  Of those 5, I have photographed about 3.  Knowing the people associated with NoTRAG, especially Linda McCutcheon, has been more help.  She knows many in the village and has helped put me in contact with many people that are opposed to the additional runway.

 

Linda sits inside her dining room.  She has been fighting against Heathrow expansion for the last seven years.

Linda sits inside her dining room. She has been fighting against Heathrow expansion for the last seven years.

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