‘Fracking through our eyes’ – photo exhibition premiers in Blackpool


An exhibition of photographs taken by people concerned about the impacts of fracking goes on display today in Blackpool to coincide with the opening of the inquiry into Cuadrilla’s shale gas applications.

The 34 photographs in the collection are each accompanied by a statement by the photographer reflecting on what it means to live with the prospect of fracking.

Photo exhibtiion1

“Where it all began…. I first began to research fracking in 2012. The health impacts and the environmental destruction the USA had seen were horrifying. I knew I had to raise awareness in my community. I set up an information point in my mum’s empty shop so that local people could drop in and learn more about the dangers of shale gas extraction. We didn’t even have a table to start with, just a few leaflets and lot of determination. Little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey all over the UK to work with people from all over the world, in my fight to protect my community and others against fracking”. Photo and words by Ebony Ava Johnson (Frack Free Lancashire)

The show, titled Through Our Eyes, is part of a project by Anna Szolucha, a social anthropologist at the University of Bergen in Norway. She has been researching the social impacts of shale gas developments in Lancashire and in Poland.


Photo 2

My ‘Happening’ “I had never taken part in public protect before Barton Moss. I was shocked by what I saw. Shocked at the number of police, the number of cameras: surveillance was massive. We were all clocked. And I was shocked by the brutality. Yes – brutality from the very people paid by the public to protect us. It was when I saw this woman aggressively restrained by the police that I realised we were in some sort of battle against the establishment. People were being randomly plucked from the crowd and shoved into police vans or thrown to the floor. I was afraid. Maybe that was the aim. But it just convinced me that this is a battle worth fighting.” Photo and words by Sue Price

Ms Szolucha told DrillOrDrop:

“The aim of the exhibition is to give voice to the local communities as they take stock of this impact in their own words and images.”

The research compares the impacts of fracking with community-led renewable energy initiatives. Debates on both energy sources were raising questions about models of democracy, she said.

“I really wanted to know what citizens in the UK and Poland were doing to ‘repower democracy’ from the ground up and what sort of barriers they encountered.”

The results will of the research will be presented in the next few weeks. she said:

“The preliminary results of this study show profound impacts of planned shale gas developments especially in terms of public health and changes in people’s political outlook.”

The exhibition opens at 11:30am at Excelsior, 181 Lytham Rd, Blackpool, a short walk from Blackpool Football Club, where the inquiry is taking place.

After today’s opening, Ms Szolucha aims to create a mobile exhibition that can be displayed wherever there is an interest. To find out more about future venues, contact Ms Szolucha at

  • DrillOrDrop will be reporting throughout the inquiry. Check our special page for updates here

This report is part of DrillOrDrop’s  Rig Watch project.  Rig Watch receives funding from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. More details here

2 replies »

  1. Brilliant Anyia this exhibition is a true picture of fracking
    We often say in our RAG group we have made friends with people who we would have never
    met until Fracking Fund Raisers happened and what generous people caring sharing at every
    event without these people we would have not come so far
    A huge Thankyou
    Marie & Rowland

  2. I would expect more similar photographs to become soon available as the situation at PNR has deteriorated recently and Cuadrilla’s backers, both financial and political, are starting to get anxious!

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s