BENEATH THE SURFACE: 2016-17
With this project I explored the politics of frack mining in the UK through a hybrid of visual, architectural and archival research.
With sites being prepared for fracking across the country, the right to frack is being hotly disputed and a national campaign of public protest is underway. The reasons for resistance are many: fracking leads to environmental pollution and seismic tremors; central government has ignored locally community choice and overturned decisions to ban fracking; planning law was changed to allow drilling without planning permission; companies carrying out the works are operating by stealth and not following safety regulations; civil rights are at risk, with people being imprisoned for protesting. Aftermath scenarios reported from other parts of the world where fracking has become widespread, make it clear that the UK’s landscape will be altered irrevocably if fracking is carried out as planned.
Secrecy and stealth shroud the drilling plans of this industry, with public consultation now limited due to recent changes in planning law and with drilling licences containing clauses banning information disclosure. Public awareness regarding fracking is low and since companies are able to embark on drilling plans unannounced, it is difficult to observe the effects of their drilling both above and below ground.