Walter Benjamin wrote “For every image of the past that is not recognised by the present as one of its own concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably”. History and its fragments stand as memories within the human mind, it is only when we confront fragments that memory is awakened, creating a surreal moment of connection with artwork, object and audience. The caravan is mourning the loss of industry the working class of Britain and the widening gap between the North and South.
The bulk of British industry was in the North, it is these working class northerners that built Britain, through hard labour. These are also the people who prided themselves as honest working people who stood up for the abolition of slavery in America.
Yet since the 1980’s and Thatcherism took hold Northern industries have been in constant decline the north south divide has only increased, not just economically but also in life expectancy, and wages gap. The average Northerner earns less than half that of a Southerner in the same position.
The Caravan has always been a working class holiday that simply took them to the nearest seaside where they could get a little fresh air away from the grim of the industrial towns; presently many working class and poorer families have never been to the seaside.
Yet the resurgence of this type of holiday has become the must do thing for many of the middle classes, with caravans more expensive than many Northern homes. Poverty porn at its most extreme.