INTER-RAIL is, for many young people, a rite of passage. It is also symbolic of one of the European Union’s greatest aspirations: freedom of movement. But for Lewis Bush, studying on London College of Communication’s MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism, six weeks’ rail travel will form the basis of a project to explore the origins and outcomes of the eurozone crisis.
His journey will take him to Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia, Athens, Rome, Madrid and Lisbon over a period of just under eight weeks.
“The original idea was to photography scenes of recession in each place – but then I realised that loads of people had already done this. So I’m going to look at the history of each place and how that relates to the current recession in the EU as a whole. National occupation will be a big theme; Greece, Germany and Italy all have a strong history in this respect.
“I don’t know exactly how I’m going to represent what I find – but I’ll know when I’ve found what I’m looking for,” Lewis says.
Lewis is also interested to hear the youth perspective on the European Project. He wants to know how optimistic people in the hardest-hit countries are about the future of an initiative that was meant to achieve harmonious unity between the European nations.
With a lifelong interest in photography, an extended deployment like this was always on the cards. “Photography was taking up more and more of my time, so I thought I might as well let it take over all of my time,” Lewis says.