15 August 16
Posted at 6:07
Project 28 is the working title of my latest, and hopefully greatest, documentary project. Born out of the result of the United Kindom's EU referendum result the project will require me to visit all of the 28 countries in the EU at the time of the referendum and to do so before Article 50 is completed.
My premise is that following the somewhat surprising and unexpected result the EU will never be quite the same again. It will certainly no longer consist of 28 members once the UK has exited. In fact the future make up of the EU will only become clear over the forthcoming months and years. Travel to and the right to live and work in EU member states is likely to become more complicated for British citizens. I have decided to visit and document a town in each member state prior the implementation of changes, what ever they may be.
Through a somewhat longwinded process I have identified a town in each of the member states. I started with Boston in Lincolnshire in the UK. I chose Boston as its electorate had the highest percentage, 75.6%, voting to leave the EU. I then looked for links between Boston and other EU towns through twinning or sistering. I continued the process until I had a target town in each country with, if somewhat tenuous, links to the other target towns. I prefered this somewhat random approach to going for capitals or choosing towns for any specific reason. Instead having identified a town I will then research its history, culture and in particular its position regarding the European Union.
Last week I went to Boston.
Boston from St Botoplhs
I climbed the tower of St Botolph's, known as the Stump. The church dominates the quite picturesque market town. It was an ideal place from which to get bearings and some ariel landscapes.
Port of Boston
Researching my chosen towns throws up many interesting facts and lots of ironies in relation to my project topic. Here is an example the port's slogan proudly declares "Port of Boston into Europe" yet the citizens have declared their desire to be out of Europe or at least the European Union.
European Food and Wine
The prime reason for the vote to leave stems from the massive migration from Eastern Europe countries of Poland, Latvia, Romania and Lithuania in particular. In 2011 13% of the population was made up of migrants from those countries exercising their rights under EU law. They work in the food processing plants of Boston and Spalding and in Lincolnshire's agricultural industry. I estimate that the percentage is now considerably higher than 13%.
I intend to chart my project's progress on this blog. As interesting as it is the blog won't analyse the political situation, I will do that in other places. i will share some images and some interesting details of what I come across in each town.
So to kick that off take a look at Boston's somewhat unique 'auction' where anything and everything is auctioned in the market from 9am until 2pm every Wednesday The Eddie Stobart Jacket
Project 28 will be the subject of a photobook - I have just 27 more countries to visit in order to gather the material! You can see regular updates on this blog.
If you would like more information about the project or would wished to get involved please contact me