Laetitia Vancon

French, lives in Munich, Germany

 

The project „ At the End Of The Day “ is a poetic portrait of a territory – the Outer Hebrides  Islands – through the prisme of the young generation living there.
The Outer Hebrides are a string of Islands – 220km long with 27 000 inhabitants, dispatched  on seven different islands – located far up North of Scotland, on the edge of what use to be  Europe before Brexit.
It all started with a book I read „ The Stornoway way “ by Kevin Mc Neil, a writer from Lewis,  the main island. In his book he depicts a place in a closed, hostile climate, where young  people kill boredom with extreme practices. Drugs, alcohol, car races … a kind of  Trainspotting in an island setting. Then f ew months later I come across coincidencely with a  brochure touting the same place as a wor ld of peace and disconnection for the city – dwellers  we are. On the one hand, the paradisiacal tourist vision; on the other, the very dark one of  the child of the country.

 

The c ontrast grips me. D oes the postcard stand up to reality?
What is the daily life of these young people now, where the population is aging and the  economy is declining, where jobs and studies are limited and wher e the conservative  mentality of the community leaves little room for unconventional behaviors?
I wonder how the young people developp a sense of belonging strong enough to decide to  stay and keep floating the islands.
After two ye ars following this project, o verall, the young people I met show this same ability  to bounce back . A kind of happy fatalism . When I look at this gallery of portraits, they give  me the impression of being tied to an elastic.: m ost of them want to go elsewhere, but they  are tirelessly brought back to their islands. By attachment but also, very often, by fear of the  unknown.
Eventually, „ At the end of the day “ is not only about them but also about us. I believe that  such places are like a zoom on our society, where we have multiple choices, instantly. Where  everything goes fast, so fast sometimes that it becomes confusing .
It mirrors our own choices and life style.

 

 

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Holly and Calum, at calum's parents place where he lives. Island of Lewis, January 2016.

Holly and Calum, at calum’s parents place where he lives. Island of Lewis, January 2016.

 

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Danielle MacGillivray, 26 years old. July 2016. She raises her son, Peter, 4 years old, alone. She has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Danielle grew up and still lives on the island of Benbecula, she is aswell a voluntary firewoman. Benbcula island, July 2016

Danielle MacGillivray, 26 years old. July 2016. She raises her son, Peter, 4 years old, alone. She has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Danielle grew up and still lives on the island of Benbecula, she is aswell a voluntary firewoman. Benbcula island, July 2016

 

Scott MacRury has a small farm called croft . At 28, when he is not a postman, or when he is not weaving in his garage long rolls of tweed, he takes care of his livestock herds of sheep that roam the moors surrounding his home. He is married , looking forward to becoming a father , he grew up in the house where he now lives . He loves the outdoors , nature, sheep . It is very difficult for him to understand our way of life that he finds detached from common sense.. Island of Lewis, January 2016.

Scott MacRury has a small farm called croft . At 28,when he is not a postman, or when he is notweaving in his garage long rolls of tweed, hetakes care of his livestock herds of sheep thatroam the moors surrounding his home. He is married , looking forward to becoming a father , he grew up in the house where he now lives . He loves the outdoors , nature, sheep . It is very difficult for him to understand our way of life that he finds detached from common sense.. Island of Lewis, January 2016.

 

Connor Clarke, 18years old, Island of lewis, January 2016. he lives in a caravan with his parents for two years, while waiting their house is being finished. This year he will finish high school and leave to Glasgow. Two years ago, Connor did is coming out, facing courageously some prejudices of his very conservative community. He wants to become an actor and above all he wants to leave the island. Here he feels like in a cage , locked in a world too small for him , even if his friends and family are very important. He knows he needs to go. The city Glasgow will provides him the anonymity, its folly and its fantasies.

Connor Clarke, 18years old, Island of lewis, January 2016. he lives in a caravan with his parents for two years, while waiting their house is being finished. This year he will finish high school and leave to Glasgow.  Two years ago, Connor did is coming out, facing courageously some prejudices of his very conservative community. He wants to become an actor and above all he wants to leave the island. Here he feels like in a cage , locked in a world too small for him , even if his friends and family are very important. He knows he needs to go. The city Glasgow will provides him the anonymity, its folly and its fantasies.

 

3 february 2016. Lewis Island, Borve area.

3 february 2016. Lewis Island, Borve area.