Going surfing at South Gare - north east coast of England - has long been shaped by pollution. The surfbreak is formed by slag, a byproduct of the celebrated but now defunct local steel industry. This is a postindustrial coastal community. The petro-chemical industry that has also has a long history in the region evidences itself in the wetsuits. Leisure does not simply result in pollution, pollution shapes leisure as well as how it relates to masculinity. By extension the men who surf here (it is only men) are connected to the military, both as the initial developers of wetsuits and guardians of the petrochemical industry. They have a toxic connection (e.g colonialism and violence) with hat Val Plumwood calls 'shadow places', those locations that bear the brunt of practices and relations that sustain an exploitative capitalist system and the ways of life associated with it.
Photography by Clifton Evers and James Davoll
Clifton Evers, "Oil", contributed by Clifton Evers and James Davoll, Center for Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 6 March 2020, accessed 5 October 2022. https://centerforethnography.org/content/oil