57º North was inspired by a trip to the Isle of Skye. I was blown away by the sheer scale of the landscape and the attitudes and lifestyles of the people that lived there. The Islanders embodied a quality very different from that found in residents of cities. In contrast to life in large cities, where people are often close in proximity but quite isolated, the islanders were geographically isolated but very well connected to each other and their environments. With this in mind, I set out to explore one of the most remote areas of the United Kingdom: The Outer Hebrides. I was in search of people that had a real connection to nature, often relying on the land and sea for food and fuel.
Issues such as global warming, climate change and overfishing are modern symptoms of an over expanding population. The industrialisation of food supplies was a humanistic approach to meet the demands of the expanding population, this however has had a dramatic effect on the natural world.
The fight against overfishing in particular, is a cause I feel very passionate about. Despite the fact that fish is the daily source of protein for 1.2 billion people, it is predicted that in less than 50 years, there will be a total collapse of all types of fishing, and this does not look likely to change.
We; in the city, are some of the worst offenders in the overfishing devastation and since we are are almost completely disconnected from the source’s of our food, we are generally ignorant to the scale of the problem The city consumer demands cheaper produce which places a heavy burden on fish stocks. Poor legislation and corrupt or poor advised fishing policies such as bi-catch have resulted in a completely unsustainable industry. This is not simply problematic as a source of food but as a much more harrowing ecological disaster for the entire planet.
Living in a city, I wanted to explore the impact of of our demands in order to gauge a true estimation of the situation and explore an alternative way of life - where people live much closer to the source of their own survival, and in turn have a different respect for it.
Nick Jones 2014