The Schengen Principle (2007)

Is a work in progress exploring the idea of arrested development and movement within boundaries surrounding the monolithic monument to new labour and capital that is the Canary Wharf development in the east end of London. In this project I am researching and photographing histories associated with the area, exploring the idea of patronage and benevolence and weaving into this a sense of the present and the playing out of preconceived and received social roles and positions. There will be a text narrative accompanying the photographs and I am exploring the idea of creating a fiction, a new way of working with photography for myself. The Schengen Principle is a book project.


The Schengen principles of free circulation of people are backed by improved and still developing security measures to ensure that … internal security is not threatened…

The Schengen information system (SIS) was set up to allow police forces and consular agents … to access data on specific individuals (i.e. criminals wanted for arrest or extradition, missing persons, third-country nationals to be refused entry, etc.) and on goods which have been lost or stolen. These data are supplied by the Member States via national sections (N-SIS) that are connected to a central technical function (C-SIS).

The data related to persons may include data on:

persons wanted for arrest for extradition purposes;

aliens for whom an alert has been issued for the purposes of refusing entry;

missing persons or on persons needing temporary police protection (minors, in particular);

witnesses and persons summoned to appear before judicial authorities;

persons to be submitted to discreet surveillance or specific checks for the purposes of prosecuting criminal offences or for the prevention of threats to public security.

The SIS is supplemented by a network known as Sirene (supplementary information request at the national entry) Phase II, which allows communication between the Sirene offices in every Schengen State. The Sirene offices are the intermediaries between the national authorities responsible for the data on the SIS (judges, police, alien offices). The Sirene Phase II network is being replaced by the Sisnet network. Sisnet will be used to communicate between C-SIS and N-SIS. Since August 2001, it is also used for communication between Sirene and Vision