Visual Storyteller Norberto Fernandez Soriano is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. From the project ‘Hythloday’. To see Norberto’s body of work, click on any image.
Hythloday is a body of work that draws from one community’s fight against fracking, and presents their experience and beliefs through a visual interpretation of what is positioned between fact and fiction. In the United Kingdom, the trial site for hydraulic fracture-fracking for shale gas – and its potential for national rollout and future commercial exploitation – is located in the countryside between the cities of Preston and Blackpool. A mile down the road from this site, a group of activists – known to the local community as ‘The Protectors’ – set up camp, where they lived and fought to stop this fracking trial.
In what might be described as a “photographic novella”, Hythloday transforms this physical place into an imagined post-fracking scenario, in which the activities, causes, fears, effects and thoughts situated in this place constitute a potential future landscape. Hythloday draws its titled from the name of the sailor in Thomas Moore’s Utopia, which is used as a means to explore and understand the place itself, as well as ‘The Protectors’ fight and their attempt to build a better world.
Hythloday combines the tangibility of the present, the uncertainty of the future, and various threats and personal convictions to create a journey through an unknown and strange place, where a quiet tension exists between those portrayed and the land, raising questions about our relationship with the world itself.
While doing this project I focused on understanding the threats, beliefs, and thoughts of this community, and its effects on the landscape, rural areas and nature. The outcome is the construction of a fictional place which people and landscape features the possible future and aftermaths of fracking.
All images and text © Norberto Fernandez Soriano
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