I have formulated two ideas upto this point. The first deals with the global issue of mass food production in the modern day. I would photograph mass farming (crop and livestock), factory production and meat preparation for human consumption. The second idea looks at the revival of the river Mersey and how it is returning from a putrid, almost lifeless state to a clean, healthy bed of life.
After looking into my two concepts in more detail I have arrived at a number of problems. Due to the time of year I am unable to find farming subjects of a quality and feel that I can return to this subject during the warmer months to create the article as I envision it.
I turned to the second concept and through my research have found that the sea life centre, which used to house all sorts of life from the mersey, along with tons of information, has closed its doors. Due to this, I have decided to create an entirely new concept. I still want to work within the merseyside area and have arrived at the issue of the regeneration of Anfield – a place I spend most Saturdays watching Liverpool FC.
My aim is to document the urban decay, demolition and re-construction – the revival of Anfield. I will talk to residents, business owners and the builders working in the area and try to photograph what they tell me.
Since arriving at my final concept, I have been researching similar photo stories and articles. Surprisingly I have found very few sets of images like this, which actually tell the full story from closure to rebuilding. National newspaper The Guardian appears to be the most active in publishing stories on issues like these. I came across a set of photos in their gallery by photographer Len Grant on the community of East Manchester. The Guardian is a publication, which I admire for publishing accurate images, which remain creative and eye-catching. I will aim my article at this publication considering their typical approach and aesthetic.
Two other publications I will also be taking into consideration when creating my piece are the Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post. These are regional newspapers, which regularly feature stories and galleries of Liverpool and its issues.
I have spent some time in the Anfield area, and regularly visit to watch the football, but I have never really taken into consideration what is actually going on in the area. Clearly it is in a state of disrepair, but it wasn’t until I investigated the regeneration plans that I realised the extent of what is going on. Plans to revive the area have been on the table for the best part of a decade, but largely nothing has really happened. Slowly streets have been emptied of their inhabitants and all houses boarded and gutted. Around 1800 properties will be flattened in seven phases, clearing space for a whole new community to be built.
After researching on the Internet, the general feel I have come across is that things aren’t moving quick enough and that residents feelings aren’t being held high enough in the list of priorities. I’ll be interested to see how this unfolds when I spend time talking to people around the area. In addition, it seems as though the current dilapidation is creating a more dangerous environment for remaining citizens with crime and dangerous refuse having risen greatly.
Similar Projects & Relative Photographers
As I have already mentioned, Len Grant is one photographer who works in the area of urban regeneration and community. He has made an entire career out of photographing the issues faced by smaller communities, specifically in Manchester.