A photographer spent months exploring a town on the frontlines of Britain's fracking war and returned with intimate photos of the people behind it
- For the last seven years, shale gas developer Cuadrilla Resources has fought to bring hydraulic fracturing to the United Kingdom. Fracking allows oil producers to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock.
- But fracking is controversial, linked to serious environmental issues, and has sparked extensive protests near Preston New Road, the company's fracking site outside the British town of Blackpool.
- London-based photographer Rhiannon Adam spent four months living, working, and photographing at Preston New Road with the protesters hoping to stop Cuadrilla.
- In October, Cuadrilla finally began fracking operations after years of legal battles. But protesters and activists have continued to fight the company.
Over the last two decades, hydraulic fracking has turned the United States into one of the biggest crude oil producers in the world. But it has also been linked to water contamination and earthquake tremors.
Hydraulic fracking is the practice of drilling and injecting water, sand, and chemicals into the ground to extract oil and gas from shale rock.For close to a decade, shale gas developer Cuadrilla Resources has been trying to bring fracking to the United Kingdom. But it has faced shutdowns due to earth tremors, protests, and years of legal battles. Last October, Cuadrilla finally got approval to begin fracking at its Preston New Road site, outside the town of Blackpool. Activists have continued to fight the company.
London-based photographer Rhiannon Adam knew she wanted to tell the story of those fighting Cuadrilla, but she wanted to avoid the standard photos of people shouting with picket signs or typical news photos of particular protests.
"The subject is difficult to photograph," she told British Journal of Photography, which commissioned Adam to photograph Preston New Road. "The only way I believed that the story could be told is through the people."
Instead, she lived and worked with the protesters - many of whom are from the communities surrounding the site - recording their stories and photographing them for months as she got to know each one.
"The narrative around fracking has deleted the personality of the individual: there are different reasons why people get involved. There are so many individual motivations," Adam said.
Here are the people that Adam met and photographed: