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Trees Not Tarmac – Stories from the M65 (2014)

Slideshow, photographs, text and artefacts.

Michele Allen in collaboration with members of the M65 Link Road Protest.

The film was made in collaboration with people who took part in the M65 Link Road Protest in Lancashire and features photographs and recollections of the campaign. The protest lasted for over a year with multiple sites being occupied on the course of the route to slow the progress of the road and increase the price of the project. Two ancient woodlands were occupied during the course of the campaign, Cinder Path Woods and Stanworth Valley the latter became the site of an extensive village of tree houses connected by rope walkways. The eviction of the site began on the 2nd of May 1995 and took several days, with the under Sheriff of Lancashire employing professional climbers and violent tactics to remove us from the trees. We never expected to win but we hoped that the process would act as a deterrent to future projects by raising the price of developing these undervalued but ecologically important sites.

The work was created through conversations with other protesters in person and online, none of the images are mine, some of the memories are. On display are posters advertising the eviction in 1995, an account of the eviction, sheet music and objects related to the protest including sketchbooks lent by Steph who was also at art college during the protest. 

Related video:

Related content:

Shifts: Photography, Environment, Action

International seminar organised by North East Photography Network 2021  page more info and talk link

Respect Existence or Expect Resistance 

Exhibition and discussion, Star and Shadow Cinema 2018. link

Conference Presentation, Trees not Tarmac University of Plymouth 2014 discussing collective representation in relation to environmental activism link

This work was originally created for ‘Passport to Pimilico’ a site specific art event in Churchill Gardens Estate, London, curated by Lana Lock. See link. Passport to Pimlico, May Day Art Day

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