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Derelict Farm House, Vermuydens Drain
CREDIT: Peter Corr

Fens at Risk - Contemporary SIG conference - Save the Date

Save the date for the RPS Contemporary SIG conference, a weekend looking into the issues of the Fenlands near Cambridge, featuring speakers Justin Minns and Peter Corr. 

This event will be held on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May 2023 in Foxton, Cambridgeshire.  All SIG and RPS members from the UK and beyond are encouraged to take part.

CREDIT: Justin Minns
Dyke, Coveney
CREDIT: Peter Corr
CREDIT: Justin Minns
Empty Road, 10 Mile Bank
CREDIT: Peter Corr
CREDIT: Justin Minns
Two Houses
CREDIT: Peter Corr

The aim of the weekend is to investigate the ‘Threat to the Fens’ by lack of infrastructure maintenance or the ‘Backdoor re-naturalisation’ of a habitat by lack of investment – or whatever other issues you discover in this weekend mix of lectures, practical photography and discussion.

With a third of the Fens currently below sea level, the area has a network of flood protection infrastructure that is nearing the end of its design life and will soon need significant investment. With the increasing effects of climate change, flood infrastructure is key in providing water resources and sustaining the environment.  Sea levels are predicted to rise by up to a metre by the end of the century. On this basis, without major sea defences, the sea could reach to the outskirts of Cambridge and Peterborough; flood much of East Norfolk; and drown large areas of coastal land in Suffolk and Essex.  A further effect of climate change is increasingly heavy rainfall which overloads rivers, the potential for severe flooding is considerable in the region.

Our speakers will discuss their photography and experiences in the Fenland.

Justin Minns, author of this best-selling photo-location and visitor guidebook “Photographing East Anglia”, spent 2015 photographing the East Anglian coast as a commission for the National Trust.  Justin will present images taken for that project and other work he has done for the National Trust.

Peter Corr will show us his viewpoint where this land called the Fenland exists as a black and white rudimentary, utilitarian landscape, reclaimed from the sea, re-purposed and reconfigured. His photographs include landscapes, buildings, rivers, trees and roads and are included in his book “Fenland” and were exhibited at the ‘Beyond the Image’ photographers gallery in Suffolk in 2021.

Spread over two days, with a dinner on Saturday evening, the event will soon be available on the RPS portal – but meanwhile save the date in your calendars: 13-14 May 2023.