'Coast of Teeth': Textual and Visual Reportage of England's Seaside Towns in a Time of Crisis.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Description of Activity

Over the last 18 months we – a journalist and reportage illustrator – have been visiting and reporting on coastal communities that have been hit hard socially, economically and ecologically by austerity (House of Lords Select Committee, 2019), Brexit (Hanretty, 2018), the climate emergency and longer-term industrial decline. This paper is a critical self-reflection of our autoethnographic and practice-based research methodologies. We consider the importance of ‘polyphonic representation’ (Canevacci, 2012) as an ethical antidote to the problematic fetishizing of poverty and social despair (Pratt, 1992) that characterises much media coverage of marginalised coastal
communities. Moreover, we explore the relevance to our work of Michael Taussig’s (2011) observation that a drawing is an articulation of the experience of seeing and witnessing, and the concomitant that in situ artists must be mindful of the potential impacts of their field research on the people and places they are representing. Our paper will include both readings and presentations of illustrations from our forthcoming book Coast of Teeth.
Period7 Sept 20229 Sept 2022
Event titleMeCCSA Conference 2022: 'Silenced Voices'
Event typeConference
LocationAberdeen, United KingdomShow on map


  • reportage drawing
  • journalism
  • seaside towns
  • Psychogeography
  • COVID-19