I had a day off so decided to jump on a train with my camera and go to Dungeness. Once off the train I caught a bus to a place called Lydd. What a strange and wonderful place! On one side of the road, barbed-wire guards the facades of red brick buildings built for army training manoeuvres. For some reason these have bright red and orange windows. The sun streams through the windows and lights up this rubble-strewn playground for overgrown war games. I would post shots of these but about 3 minutes after I photographed them an army police Land-Rover pulled up next to me and after many questions I was told to delete them. I’m not normally one for being told what to do but alone in the middle of nowhere and with our armed forces 2 days into another depressing crusade that is none of our business and therefore heightened paranoia on their behalf, I decided to quietly go along with his wishes.
On the other side of the road were rows of detached houses with neat front gardens full of idyllic scenes: An elderly man in his greenhouse carefully paints model figures. In the next a large, abstract wooden sculpture sits proudly in the centre of the lawn. And the next, 2 young twins in matching white, lace dresses bounce in tandem on a giant trampoline. I peer at these scenes through the hedges as I walk past. It’s like I’m watching the opening shots of a strange and beautiful film, full of wonderful contrast. The crackle of gunfire can just be made out in the distance.
See more of the shots here
Dungeness also has these contrasts: The low hum of the nuclear power station layered with bird song and the sound of gentle waves lapping the shingle. The signs tell you very clearly that you’re not welcome. There is suspicion and hatred in the air mixed with smell of fresh fish from rotten boats in nuclear waters. I felt sick after 20 minutes of photographing the multi-national rubbish washed up on the stones. ‘Our shingle is extremely delicate’ a sign tells us… so fuck off! Leave us to our sickness and rotten wooden shacks – Respect our privacy because we don’t want you to know the truth about this place.
Of course I’m reading between the lines but I was aggressively abused for photographing a fence nowhere near anyone’s property and while photographing the sunset a woman stopped her car right in front of me when their was miles of road either side of me to stop.