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Philip Poole

Many British coastal towns, including in eastern England, have suffered economically since the late 1960s because of the decline of traditional sectors including tourism, fishing, and port-related activities. The result has often been stagnation compounded by geographic isolation, inadequate transport links, under-investment, and poor job prospects. They now contain some of the most deprived areas in the UK.

This PhD is a combined practice and theoretical exploration that aims to identify and document photographically the nature and consequences of this economic decline in the form of a visual narrative that will raise awareness of these problems and the potential for regeneration.

I initially trained and spent most of my career working as an economist and my photographic practice mostly addresses socio-economic issues and consequences in the form of visual narratives.

My PhD thesis will combine practice-based and written work. It will build on a rich but currently neglected legacy of British documentary photography, adding fresh insights from the integration of economic research techniques and visual documentation as an original contribution to documentary photographic practice. Unlike previous photographic work on sectoral decline and associated deprivation, as well as raising awareness of the problem, it will focus on initiatives for regeneration.