Shane Lynam

Shane Lynam (b.1980) is an Irish photographer based in Dublin. He studied Politics and Economics at University College Dublin before completing an MA in Documentary Photography at Newport School of Art, University of Wales in October 2012. His graduation project, Contours, was one of Brian Dillon's selections for Source - Graduate Photography 2012. Contours was shown as a solo show at the Alliance Française in Dublin during March 2013, it went on to be shown as part of PhotoIreland 2013's main show. Shane was a finalist in the Renaissance Photography prize in 2014 & 2015 and in the Photobook Melbourne Photography Prize 2015. Contours was nominated for the Prix Pictet in 2015. Fifty High Seasons won the Gallery of Photography's Solas Ireland Award in November 2015 and will be part of Circulations Festival in Paris in March 2016. Recent online and offline publications include The British Journal of Photography, Flak Photo, Selektor Magazine, UnlessYouWill and the collective book New Irish Works. Alongside his art work Shane works on editorial or commercial projects, recent clients have included the New York Times Magazine, Business Week Magazine, Time Fortune Magazine, Wearedublin Magazine, Society Magazine, Airbnb and Facebook.

In 1963 President de Gaulle initiated a new urban planning project, known as 'La Mission Racine', to develop a stretch of French coastline between Montpellier and Perpignan into a series of coastal resorts. Ahead of its time, innovative architects were hired for each town to construct unique and unusual spaces adapted to the local environment. It aimed to turn the area into a holiday destination centered around leisure while offering an alternative source of income locally. The project has undoubtedly been an economic success, however, La Mission Racine was not only about enriching the region. It included an 18% quota of social housing to allow more French citizens to take advantage of their ‘congé payé' (paid holidays). There was a real determination to provide an alternative to the expensive Cote d'Azur without the excesses of similar developments further south in Spain. I first visited the area, while living in France, in 2007 and was struck by how different it looked to the picturesque villages often associated with the south of France. From 2010 to 2015, I made regular trips to the seven towns involved documenting how the area looks today, 50 years on. Although some of the original promise has faded and the infrastructure is beginning to show its age, the central values, particularly the idea of offering affordable summer holidays for the average citizen, remain key to how the area is managed.

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