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The purpose of the project will be to both examine and highlight the role of the British folk tradition. This is in part an ethnographic journey and in part a very personal journey. Many traditions ritualise our relationships with nature, our ancestors and our class history. These relationships seem to have been severed by a combination of the Axial religions, the industrial revolution and consumer culture. My own journey through taking the photographs will be to scrutinize my sometimes passionate, sometimes confused and often ambivalent relationship to the traditions, British culture and my own working class roots.
My preoccupations will be ancestral connections, our changing relationship with the land and the channeling of class history and narrative through performed folk traditions. In terms of my own personal practice, this project is part of a trajectory from the feminist folk punk band I sang and wrote lyrics for in the mid-eighties, from my previous photographs of fairground ghost trains and street hawking children with Guy Fawkes, my respect for the work of August Sander and Studs Terkel and my last project, Kanaval, which documented, with photography and oral histories, a people’s carnival in Jacmel in Southern Haiti.