Located on the west coast of Scotland, Eigg is a small island of Inner Hebrides.
Twenty years ago the inhabitants made themselves famous by redeeming their pretty rock. Today, they are autonomous in electricity and have created a model of citizen self-management.
Tired of the succession of landlords * to multiple promises but without concrete effects, the inhabitants of Eigg have succeeded, thanks to various financings and a great story, to become owners of their island. This purchase allowed the islanders to take back the destiny of the island. For 20 years they successfully established an original model of self-management and development. They meet regularly to decide together on future directions for Eigg.
One of the first works of the community was the construction a jetty to finally connect the island to the rest of the country and to promote its development.
The question of their autonomy in energy was then quickly asked. In 2008, the inhabitants realized a world first: the island has its autonomous network combining solar, wind and hydroelectric power into an innovative system.
The inhabitants thus knew how to create a real dynamic on their island and a strong symbol for Scotland. Not only young islanders come back to live there, but the island becomes the place where those who wish can settle easily and implement their dreams. Today the community is made up of people of different ages, backgrounds and origins with for all a common point a certain love for the island.
All this small world (105 people today) spreads along the only road of the island. Thus disseminated one finds many kind of dwellings in adequacy with the lifestyle of everyone.
The landscape is also changing as volunteers and the National Trust accompany islanders for reforestation with results already visible.
In addition to their decision-making for autonomy and electricity, Eigg sees its population grow, various activities were created. We find today a brewery, tourist facilities, basketry, music festivals, artistic residences, caterers bio, etc … Eigg has just celebrated this year its 20 years of self-management with a very positive balance sheet.
This photographic work focuses on this small company and tries to restore the atmosphere of the places through its inhabitants. A plural portrait of a friendly community that evolves a little against the “classic” fate of many of these isolated places.
1 Name of large landowners in the United Kingdom
Charles Delcourt was trained as a landscape architect. Today, photographer and member of LIGHTMOTIV agency. In parallel with his commissioned work, presses and institutional, he devotes himself to personal and documentary projects in the long term. We find in his images a keen sense of composition. Regular publications in the press; The world, Le Monde Magazine, GEO, International Mail, L’Express, The Parisian, Scottish Field, Pelerin, Slate.fr, The Monitor, ELLE, Léopolis, L’Alpe, Answers photo, Live Paris, Fisheye, Fine Art Magazine,…
Charles Delcourt – Isle of eigg
Le Rocher de Palmer
1 Rue Aristide Briand