Building on previous experience and concerns, your task is to make a piece of work, which integrates your personal interests with an assigned site in Coventry. To help clarify your personal response, you are encouraged to research your site fully before you start taking photographs, using local social and cultural history, myths and/or the landscaped geography as starting points.
Your project needs to be lens based but there are no restrictions about which direction you develop your project; it has been specifically designed to encourage your own personal interests and direction. However, it needs to be original to you. You are advised to use this flexibility as an opportunity to explore your own photographic direction and investigate an area of photography, which interests you. The presentation of your project should be appropriate to its development.
After changing my plans I decided to set my project on Map 7. Initially, I didn’t consider Map 7 as a possible candidate because it is close to City Centre of Coventry, which I though I new very well. I was planning to base my project as further away possible from the City Centre. The reason was because I wanted to explore new grounds. Also the fact that since the beginning of the term I own a bike, made me eager to investigate and document new places.
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I visited the incinerator once again. This time though I went in the facilities and had a chance to see what is going in there. I have been watching the chimney from my window for the past three years and never went so close. I went to the reception to ask permission for photographs. I got a number and an email address. I hope I will get permission before the deadline. If not, I will continue this project after I submit, where I will have spare time.
As the title of the post says, I did some research and found out that the Whitley Incinerator is serving the city of Coventry and the town of Solihull since 1975. Most of the rubbish produced in Coventry is burned and the rest is used as landfill. There has been a controversy over the current usage of the facilities and the new plans from City Council and Solihull.
According to the authorities a lot of the heat produced by burning the rubbish could be used in heating buildings. The project has been planned, proposed and already has a contractor for the job. Part of the controversy is who’s is getting what? Again according to the authorities, the “Heatline” project would deliver heat through underground pipes to the City Centre. Meaning that it will benefit the Council, Coventry University and the Cathedral, for starters. The energy produced by such procedures is considerably cheaper and in the long term could benefit the citizens of Coventry. For the time being, priority is given to the aforementioned entities and the commercial part of the city.
One more reason this project could be a disaster, argue the Friends of the Earth, is the amount of money it could cost to the taxpayer. They claim that the incinerator could cost more than it will be saving. Looking at the bigger picture, producing heat by burning trash is not a thing of the future, though the Council states that they don’t have the resources at the moment for high-tech waste management.
And let’s not forget the environmental impact. The plans to expand the facilities would see the end of the bio-diverse grassland around it and of course in order to make the project profitable, the incinerator would have to burn almost the double amount of tonnes per year.
From my point of view, this great deal of money, about 10 million, and the binding contract of 25 years could be devastating for the city. There are many dark and forgotten corners of this city. There are enough homeless people to attract the council’s attention, and many others who struggle to make a living. What is missing from Coventry is not cheaper heating but a sense of community and celebration of the commons. There I would invest that money.
A couple of days ago I had an accident with the bike and I injured my shoulder. It wasn’t really serious, but it’s enough to keep me from riding the bike while carrying all the equipment… Yesterday, I even had difficulty holding a D700 in the studio. While scanning some negatives today I found out that I have many stills from the Whitley Incinerator, located near the London Road Cemetery. I checked the 15 maps and found that Map 7 does include the incinerator! Tomorrow I will load a new roll and visit again.