The Silwood Video Group workshops continued this week, with two days on the estate. On Monday, due to good weather, we were able to move around on the estate doing location shots and photography, as well as engaging curious residents and talking to them about our activities. Later in the afternoon, we organised an interview shoot with a long-term resident. We also held our weekly screening and workshops at the Silverlock Centre on Tuesday from 6pm-8pm. We discussed old maps of the Silwood and Rotherhithe area brought along by one of the residents, which were photographed for documentation, and held camera and sound operating practice workshops.
The weekly Silwood Video Group sessions have been continuing down on the estate and at the Silverlock Centre. We have had some very successful shoots and interviews with local residents, who have helped to document life on the estate by explaining their memories of their time there, how the community has changed, and what advice they would give to younger/ newer residents. The project has so far been well-received by those living on and around the estate, and there is a keen interest being shown in discovering how the camera works, operating sound equipment, interviewing others and listening to each others histories.
As ever, the group would like to encourage new members to join – all are welcome to take part!
Tuesdays, 6.30pm – 8pm
We had our first workshop with the Silwood Video Group on Tuesday, which allowed us to get a lot of new footage and more location shots to add to our ever-expanding archive. We are looking forward to getting the project up and running, with lots of positive contributions by residents. We are lining up interviews with pensioners and schoolkids alike, trying to get to the root of the changing nature of life on the estate.
Spectacle will be starting a new series of inter-generational workshops on the Silwood Estate in South-East London every Tuesday from 1st of February. Documenting the lives’ of old and young residents alike, it is an attempt at capturing oral histories and in the same process teaching people ow to use camera equipment to record their own stories. We will be filming on location from 2pm-3pm on the Estate, and from 3pm til 6pm, we will be based at the Silverlock Centre on Warndon Street (opposite Tissington Court) for a more formal workshop.
The estimated costs of the remediation of the toxic waste which riddles the Olympic site were assumed to be enough to ensure that the site would be clear for development after the Games. But as Andrew Boff, a member of the London Assembly and Conservative spokesman on the Olympics, made clear in a statement in The Guardian in June, the ODA coming in under budget at the time is only a Pyrrhic victory. The site is fit for use up to and including London 2012, but its future after this remains uncertain.
“I thought the £9.3bn cost would provide a remediation level sufficient for future development. But what we are left with is remediation which is just enough for us to hold the Games. The ODA is very proud that it came in under budget on remediation. I wish it had spent the whole amount and made the site fit for the future.”
It was revealed earlier this month that the cost of the remediation has hit the £12.7m mark (to be funded, apparently, by Mr and Mrs Taxpayer), but despite this, the clean-up will have to continue well after the Games have left our shores, due to the careless demolition of a chemical storage facility that stood in the way of plans for the main stadium. The result of which is a grave way ahead – cleaning up the contamination will cost more than first anticipated and the idea has to be rethought. In such a context, ‘clean-up’ can only really be held to mean ‘contain’ – such chemical pollution is difficult to detect unless one knows where to look.
The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of the last Londoner being held in Guantánamo Bay detention centre, will be holding a day of public meetings and demonstrations on Saturday 11th December from 12 noon at Battersea Arts Centre. The film ‘Outside the Law: Stories From Guantánamo’ directed by Polly Nash and produced by Spectacle Documentaries will be screened at Battersea Arts Centre in the Grand Hall from 4.30pm.
This weekend, there will be a 3-day long conference in Brussels organised by City Mine(d) on urban issues and initiatives concerning how to make cities more liveable. The conference begins Friday 19th November at 19:00 with a panel debate on ‘small initiatives, big challenges’. On Saturday 20th November, closed workshops will be held in the afternoon, with group discussions from 19:00 to 23:00. And on Sunday 21st November, from 10:00 til 22:00, there will be a bazaar of idea-sharing and proposals.
For more information, or to register for this event, see their webpage: http://urbanplatform.citymined.org/
The unauthorised use of the grounds of the Battersea Power Station as a private helipad has received no action under the ENFORCEMENTS section of the Wandsworth Council’s Planning Application Committee agenda to be discussed at today’s meeting.
Residents have been expressing concerns since as early as June 2003 about helicopter flights causing noise and disturbance, and according to the Committee report:
DETAILS: The number of helicopter flight movements (a landing and take-off) at
this site within the power station is logged by the Battersea Heliport and its monthly returns shows that the current level of movements is between 14 and 56 per month over the last year, an average per month of about 35 movements. This compares to a monthly average of between 30 and 51 movements per month over the last ten years, with a peak in activity during the months of May, June and July 2007 (93, 96 and 92 movements, respectively).
All other breaches of planning control in Wandsworth Borough by small businesses are being enforced by the Committee, but nothing is being done to enforce the removal of the helipad:
RECOMMENDATION: That the committee endorses the view that it is not
expedient to take enforcement action against the use of part of the site of Battersea
Power station for the take-off and landing of helicopters, based on the current level of usage, and that the complainants be informed accordingly.
One rule for the rich and powerful, and another for smaller, less well-connected enterprises?
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Khan Market , New Delhi
The signs of regeneration are all over Delhi. Billboards proclaim ‘DELHICIOUSLY YOURS’ throughout the city, and it is. The pace of work completed between June and now are staggering – the air-conditioned metro, Delhi’s prize feature, works efficiently; lights decorate various hubs of tourist activity and promote a warm, festive atmosphere; and customs takes only ten minutes to get through, as opposed the the previous hour. These are the positive aspects of regeneration and they indicate how far India can go and how much could have been achieved minus the corruption scandals and the delays.
Walk a few metres away from all of this, however, and you are confronted again with real Delhi – unpaved streets, buildings fallen into disrepair and open sewers perfuming the air. There is no sign, however, of the customary wallahs – the newspapers are full of tales of people returning to collect suits from streetside tailors only to find they have been moved on; cigarette wallahs, barbers, fruit-sellers, as well as beggars and the homeless – all have mysteriously disappeared without trace or concern.
According to some Delhi residents affected by the migration, their maids and their families were simply told to ‘leave Delhi for twenty days’ – the duration of the Games and the days preceding and following. Those who did not comply willingly were forced; shacks burned up in inexplicable circumstances and not all dwellers were recompensed. It is an open secret in Delhi that many of the poor were herded to a large slum outside the city, but it has been made extremely difficult for activists and media workers to photograph or document it, and those living there who have tried to fight back have been effectively dissuaded.
Regeneration is a game, of course, even if its prizes do not glide by neatly on a conveyor belt, and so it follows that not everybody wins.
With the Commonwealth Games slipping into their final days in Delhi, other construction efforts are rushing for completion in a similar manner. Located away from central Delhi, in Kalindi Kunj gardens on the banks of the Yamuna River, the 45m wheel aspires to evoke comparisons with its more famous London counterpart. However, like much of the city, it remains unfinished and unused, with it’s location unknown to most locals and with the RP20 entrance fee to the gardens likely to prevent it being enjoyed by all levels of society.
It does boast one feature that the London Eye doesn’t – a VIP pod equipped (as rumour has it) with a minibar and a television. In case the view from the top proves underwhelming.