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© Rhiannon Adam

Rhiannon Adam takes us inside the UK fracking debate

It is Monday 15 October 2018. Today, Cuadrilla Resources will frack for the first time in the UK since 2011. The stretch of road outside the Preston New Road site in Lancashire is deserted; a misty haze hangs over the scene. Further up, a white van, mounted with scaffolding, blocks the entrance. One protester has d-locked his neck to the structure; another has attached her arm. Campaigners from around the country congregate with signs and placards, the police stand on patrol.

The press is here, in the midst of the action, but Rhiannon Adam holds back. This is exactly the type of image she wants to avoid: a snapshot of an anonymous crowd demonstrating against a process, which is, largely, invisible. “The subject is difficult to photograph,” she says, “the only way I believed that the story could be told is through the people.” For Adam, listening to an individual’s story dictates how she photographs them. Her ultimate aim: to redirect the narrative away from the singular news piece and give an identity to those involved.

Words: Hannah Abel-Hirsch

Rhiannon Adam spent four months exploring the narratives behind fracking in the UK. The project was organised by Studio 1854 with the support of Ecotricity.

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