Greenham and Crookham Commons is an unusual place to think about enclosure, given that it was not historically enclosed like many places that surround it. But Greenham, to give it its shorthand term, has an extraordinary late modern history attached to it, and it is that history that forms the basis of this contribution—describing enclosure more as social construct than a physical act, although the physicality of enclosure at Greenham was real for those directly affected by it. In addition to a short contextual essay, the contribution is unusual in another respect: it incorporates a photographic journey, following the fence that once enclosed the Cold War airbase at Greenham. Based on a series of memory walks, the images describe what happened when peace women and others revisited the commons to (re)trace some of their journeys around the base. The series of photographs that emerged from this project constitute: a blurring of past and present; a contemporary mapping of the site by those for whom the fence was a constant presence; and a search for shapes of the past in conflict with the present contours of Greenham. The photographs form part of an ongoing larger film work asking whether the divisions of the past are still embedded in the present and how enclosure is represented at Greenham today, as physical and mental barriers.
Research Article|October 01 2010
Silo Walk: Exploring Power Relations on an English Common
Radical History Review (2010) 2010 (108): 154-160.