Inside fracking: Striking images revealed from Ecotricity photography commission
A collection of intimate photographs have been revealed which tell the stories of campaigners on the frontline of the fight against fracking.
For Fractured Stories, a British Journal of Photography commission supported by green energy company Ecotricity, Rhiannon Adam spent four months immersed in daily life at the Preston New Road fracking site and photographing some of the protestors.
The project coincided with the start of fracking at Preston New Road in October – the first frack to take place in the UK since 2011. 47 earthquakes have been detected in the local area since then, despite Cuadrilla having to regularly stop work after breaching environmental regulations.
The images include portraits of a hairdresser, Vivienne Westwood and Anne Power - an 87-year-old activist, as Rhiannon spent over four months at the site getting to know people on both sides of the debate.
She also wanted to demonstrate the currently invisible environmental issues that many fear fracking will inflict and did so by processing select images with a constituent chemical of fracking fluid to corrupt the photos.
Rhiannon Adam, documentary photographer, said: “The subject is difficult to photograph, the only way we could tell the story was through the people.
“Being there for so long I have come to appreciate the little things that people do; like locals who have opened up their houses to allow protesters to shower; or the people who do bits of laundry and drop them off at Maple Farm Camp; or someone who has never been vegan in their life but is now making vegan food to bring to the main gate.
“I think everyone at Preston New Road realises that all eyes are on them right now and that this fight is a fight for the future – not just in that area but a fight for the future of Britain.”
Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “Rhiannon’s work has brilliantly captured the spirit and diversity of the protests at Preston New Road and across the country against fracking - which is the most unpopular form of energy production ever. And it’s fantastic to have the issue highlighted in the British Journal of Photography, a hugely prestigious publication.
“The world is coming together this month at COP24 in Poland to call for governments to do more to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, and our government is almost unique in its focus on fracking, which will only increase our reliance on fossil fuels.”
Ecotricity supported the campaign as part of its Boycott the Big Six campaign, which encourages people to move away from the Big Six energy companies, which are either investing in or supporting fracking in Britain - which means that 6 out of 10 people are funding fracking simply by paying their energy bills.
As part of the campaign, Ecotricity set up the People Power Fund to support the activists fighting fracking on the front line. That means every penny in the fund will go directly to anti-fracking groups in Britain.
It isn’t just the ‘Big Six’ backing fracking – Ecotricity is the only energy company that guarantees frack free gas.
Fracking is a dirty business, and by stopping it now, Britain can choose a greener form of gas made from a simple, renewable source – grass.
I went every day to the fracking site. I met people, I saw their dedication, and gradually it dawned on me what it was all about. Yes it’s about fracking, but it’s about inequality in the population.
Anne Power, anti-fracking Nana
The fracking protesters are real heroes: they’re people who have protested day and night for many years.
John Sauven, Greenpeace
My fundamental objection to the whole shale gas industry developing is that it goes against any action we are trying to take nationally in terms of climate breakdown.
Gina Dowding, Green Party Lancashire County Councillor for Lancaster Central and suffragette
Switch to Ecotricity and we'll donate up to £60 to the People Power Fund, which supports the activists fighting fracking on the frontline.