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The sounds of Brexit Britain

The sounds of Brexit Britain
18th April 2017 Cities and Memory

On the day that Prime Minister Theresa May announces a general election whose defining issue will be Britain’s exit from the European Union (and all that goes along with that debate), it’s a good time for the second in our series of sonic reflections on Brexit.

We begin in Gatwick Airport’s arrivals area – a polyglot melting pot of place in which families are reunited, people from all over the world arrive to visit and so on. I’ve always found it an emotional and joyful place to sit and wait.

Much of the UK’s vote to leave the EU was based around the immigration issue, and even since the vote has brought out some of the very worst in this country’s island mentality and xenophobia.

I wanted to contrast this place of international coming together with this growing sense of nationalism and putting up of walls, to imagine what a nightmarish British airport of the future might sound like.

The piece is built around layers of string sections over the original field recording, while clips of politicians and British people who voted to leave fight for your attention.

There are clips from Leave campaigning politicians, Leave voters in Kent and some from British ex-pats living in Spain, some of whom don’t seem to realise the inherent hypocrisy in their attitudes to immigration.

City version:

Memory version: