Located on the west coast of Scotland, Eigg is a small island in the Inner Hebrides.
20 years ago the inhabitants made themselves famous by buying their pretty rock. Today, they are self-sufficient in electricity and have created a model of citizen self-management.
Tired of the succession of landlords with many promises but without concrete effects, the inhabitants of Eigg have succeeded, thanks to various funding and a great history, to become owners of their island. This takeover allowed the islanders to take the destiny of the island back into their own hands. For 20 years they have 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 of a jetty to finally connect the island to the rest of the country and promote its development. The question of energy autonomy quickly arose. In 2008, the inhabitants achieved a world first: the island has its autonomous network combining solar, wind and hydroelectric energies in an innovative system.
The inhabitants have therefore been able to create a real dynamic on their island and are a strong symbol for Scotland. Not only are young islanders coming back to live there, but the island is becoming the place where those who wish can easily settle down and make their dreams come true.
Today the community is made up of people of different ages, backgrounds and origins, all of whom share a certain love for the island. All these small people (120 people today) are spread out along the only road of the island. Thus we find homes of all kinds in line with the lifestyle of everyone spread out over the island. The landscape is also changing as volunteers and the National Trust accompany the islanders for reforestation with already visible results. In addition to their autonomy to take decisions and to produce electricity, Eigg therefore sees its population grow, various activities were created. Today there is a Brasserie, tourist facilities, basketry, music festivals, artistic residences, organic caterers, etc. Eigg just celebrated 20 years of self-management this year with a very positive record.
This photographic work focuses on this small society and tries to recreate the atmosphere of the place through its inhabitants. A plural portrait of a friendly community that is evolving a little against the trend of the “classic” future of many of these isolated places.
BIOGRAPHY – Charles Delcourt
Charles Delcourt is a landscape architect by training.
Today, photographer and member of the LIGHTMOTIV agency.
In addition to his commission, press and institutional work, he devotes himself to long-term personal and documentary projects. We find in his images a keen sense of composition, a precise spatialization of beings and things.
Charles works with color to make it a link between his different photos and subjects.
He doesn’t avoid the gap – plays with our reasoned certainties, throws off the winks that appear in his photography. He undoubtedly saw the world as a smiling and supportive passenger.
Isle of Eigg. Text Camille Dressler, released Nov. 7, 2020
Charles Delcourt : Isle Of Eigg
Exhibition and Book
From March 11 to April 10, 2021
Little Big Galerie
45 Rue Lepic 75018 Paris
Tuesday to Sunday 11 am-6pm by appointment.