Crowdfunding campaign underway for a book of photographs documenting the impact of Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort

Aberdeen-born Alicia Bruce’s project will be a reminder of how a small group of local residents resisted Mr Trump’s protracted efforts to buy their land.

Ms Bruce hopes to bring their fight to a global audience and also honor several residents who have died since fighting with Mr Trump over his vision to create “the greatest golf course in the world”.

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The photographer has worked with residents of Menie since the estate was acquired by Mr Trump for development as a golf resort in 2006.

The late Molly Forbes was among local residents who opposed the development of Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort. Photo: Alicia Bruce

The project has been championed by local business leaders and the Scottish Government approved one of the two courses in 2008 after councilors previously rejected the development. A second course was supported by elected officials in 2020.

Some of Ms Bruce’s work with residents of the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire has already been acquired by the National Galleries of Scotland.

She plans to work with a number of leading Scottish musicians, including Karine Polwart, Kathryn Joseph, Ballboy and Ruth Barrie, to help launch the book.

One of Menie’s residents, David Milne, said: I am here in Menie in part because of the support provided to me by Alicia Bruce.

Mike and Sheila Forbes were among Aberdeenshire residents who took on Donald Trump over his plan to develop a golf resort. Photo: Alicia Bruce

“I am happy and proud to support her in her new project. It’s simple, it’s easy and everything counts.

The Kickstarter fundraising page states: “The project documents 16 years of Donald Trump’s impact on a Scottish coastal community from 2006 to the present day.

“This post will be the first of its kind and will be a lasting legacy for the people of Menie and a record of extraordinary people who stood up to money, power and intimidation to save their land and their home from an order purchase required.

“A book is a tangible object and more accessible to as many people as possible than an exhibition or an archive.

Singer-songwriter Karine Polwart is collaborating with photographer Alicia Bruce on her project to document the impact of Donald Trump’s golf resort development on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire. Photo: Alicia Bruce

“The role of photography in depicting the significance of this community’s struggle with one of the world’s most controversial and powerful figures continues to be felt.

“A book will bring this message to a global audience in an accessible way. Daylight Books was selected as the publisher of this photobook because of its US location, international distribution and reputation for producing photobooks. High quality.”

Bruce said: “This project is political, personal and professional.

“My role in Menie is to serve as a conduit for my friends there who have lived too long in the shadow of Trump’s impact on their homes and lands.

“I have learned through my collaborations with the people of Menie that even as a working-class photographer with no money or power, I can help others share their worldviews and personal stories in alternative and help, in my own way, to bring about social change for the better.

“I witnessed firsthand the horrifying treatment of local residents and the destruction of a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) for a short-lived commercial development.

“Nature is already fighting against the first course and, as my photographs show, the result is bittersweet.”

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