Industrial towns are living in isolation, undeservedly fraught with social strife, economic fragility and the capriciousness of an unknown future. A once celebrated industry now lies in ruins, unable to fight against or change the unavoidable outcomes of decisions made by our country. Port Talbot documents just one community within an ever-growing narrative of industrial communities that have become part of an isolated Britain.
For many working in Port Talbot, steel has not only provided a form of income, but a sense of collective identity and pride. Without a tangible solution to climate change, this town is soon to be condemned to the annals of history, yet without the steel works there will be a dramatic decline in employment: Port Talbot is the Industry, and Industry is Port Talbot.
While the nefariousness of industrial towns on both environmental and human heath are well documented, what becomes of the individuals who rely solely upon them? The uncertainty of financial security coupled with the tensions of Brexit have left many in exile, yet it is the social stigma that alienates these communities most. It is duplicity ad infinitum.
In conception, our aim was to explore the connection between people and place, between the town and the industry, and in so doing display a comprehensive vision of Port Talbot. We would like to ignite the conversation of neglect that riddles our industrial communities, thus serving as a reminder that we all have a shared obligation to navigate the clouded waters of our future as one.