In the build-up to the Miners’ Strike of 1984, Rae was commissioned to develop this portrait of Easington Colliery in County Durham. He worked with the writer Paul Rutishauser.
Rae and Rutishauser spent a month in Easington in February 1984, taking photographs, talking to people and taping interviews. The work’s stated aims were ‘to try and describe the extent to which a community has been determined by an industry and the vulnerability of its way of life to decisions taken elsewhere about that industry’s future.’ Toured extensively during the strike with John Davies’ Durham Coalfield, it formed part of a wider engagement with coalfield concerns that also included Amber Current Affairs Unit’s News from Durham / Where Are We Going? and then Why Support the Miners? as well as the touring and publication of Keith Pattison’s Easington, August 1984.
All images © Bruce Rae