There'll always be an England

2013

For three weeks, I explored time and identity by integrating myself into different English villages based in Lincolnshire, while also searching for a feeling of home and belonging- something which has always been unfamiliar to me. After having had lived in England for 7 years, I wanted to uncover a sense of "Englishness" which I was both familiar yet unfamiliar with. I found villages which from an outside perspective were just houses, gardens, a green, a village hall, a church, a pub and an array of hedges quietly nestled on the flat lands of the county, with their sometimes scarce and very rarely international inhabitants going about their day by day. On closer inspection, I realised that everyone I would meet and speak to, had a story which emitted an emotion that somehow related either to a past whether personal or in relation to the village or a concern for their future. I thought by going somewhere where time seems to slow down, and where an identity is supposedly stable, I would find answers. What I found was a community nostalgic for a past confronted with the change the present brings and a future, which is wavering. I didn’t find answers at all, just more questions and never enough time to fully understand all the quirks and eccentricities of this particular English identity. What does it really mean to have an identity as an individual and as a collective? Are we our traditions? Our culture? And where is that line between clinging on to what we know and letting go to what could be?

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