Terril, 2017 This project comprises of photos, videos and texts that explore the post-industrial landscape of Northern France, focusing particularly on the man-made mountains known in French as terrils. Terrils are hills that have been formed from the waste residue from coal plants. Their shapes are the only peaks that rise up from the flatlands of the region. The terrils are what remain from the old coal mining industry that has died out, yet whose practice has scarred the earth and shaped the landscape. In 2012 the terrils of Northern France were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with the whole mining basin of Nord-Pas de Calais. This listing has re-ignited a sense of pride in the region, transforming a negative attribute into a positive. The terrils have become sites of leisure for the local residents, who walk, run and cycle up and down the mini-mountains, creating an almost surreal scene of environmental re-appropriation This work is part of my ongoing research into the ‘cultural landscape’. These are combined works of nature and humankind, as they express a long and intimate relationship between people and their natural environment. These landscapes operate as part of the collective identity among cultural groups. In establishing the idea of the cultural landscape Carl Ortwin Sauer claims: “The cultural landscape is fashioned from a natural landscape by a culture group. Culture is the agent, the natural area is the medium, the cultural landscape is the result” In the Nord-Pas-de-Calais such a definition can be used to read the landscape as a site that has undergone events and interventions, from borderland battlefields to industrialisation. These events have left vestiges on the land, along with the people who have inhabited that territory. Such history equally marks the people whose lives are built upon this conflicted territory. With all this in mind the people of the north are consciously attempting to transform a complex history and a difficult contemporary situation into a positive future.