The project title was originally conceived in terms of thinking about the experience of approaching or departing from the coast and the conception of this edge as a barrier, border or frontier. Our initial identification of Lorry Drivers and Fishermen, as groups who experienced opposing approaches to the edge, turned to an interest in people who we met on the edge/ the coast. Attempting to rapidly grasp a sense of the town, we came up with three main questions to start conversations with people.
Where, for you, is the boundary or edge of Folkestone?
Where do you consider the UK border to be?
What do you think about when you look out to sea?
Questions about the physical edges of the town were met with varied and often very personal answers. For some, the experience of arriving, returning or departing is charged with emotion, connected to particular associations, for others it is routine. The same holds for looking out to sea, often characterised as a romantic pastime, full of longing for what lies beyond, what is out of sight or out of reach, is for others a livelihood or responsibility, or something completely neutral.
Amongst those interviewed are coastguards, lifeguards, scuba divers, café owners, lorry drivers, hotel receptionists and tourists.
In some cases our conversations stretched well beyond our three questions. Many were keen to talk about their anxieties and/ or optimism about the regeneration of Folkestone and the role the creative industry plays, immigration, the loss of the ferry, decline of the local fishing industry and a perceived lack of interest in the local community.The views expressed by the people we interviewed were often contrary to those we hold ourselves. Sometimes we challenged them, sometimes we didn’t. It seemed important not to censor those political or personal views we disagreed with, rather to represent them as they had represented themselves. Recording was always done openly, with permission.
TRANSIT\ION (Magda Fabianczyk, Tilly Fowler), Folkestone, August 2011