Save Shaker Aamer – ‘Stories From Guantánamo’ Screening 11th December

GuanShaker01

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.

All welcome!

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Or visit our Guantánamo project pages for more information and videos.

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Save Battersea Pumping Station from demolition

Battersea Pumping Station

Developers REO want to demolish Battersea Pumping Station

Last week’s blog entry on Battersea Pumping Station focused on the frailty of the argument behind demolishing the building by current developers REO / Treasury Holdings. The pump house is a listed building at Grade II and pre-dates the power station by several decades as it was built in 1850. It has suffered from the same neglect that has befallen the power station, and like the sleeping giant that dwarfs it, it has been proclaimed as unrestorable by the developers and therefore fair game to be knocked down to make way for gated communities and a retail hub.

Yet much is being ignored here. The new Planning Policy Statement 5 declares that the council must take into account not only the possibility of sustaining and restoring a building of historical significance, but also weigh up the loss of heritage that would disappear along with the building against the desirability of any new development and the effects of both actions on the local community.

Kew Bridge Engines Trust, 20th Century Society, Battersea Society, SAVE, Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society, and also The Victorian Society (whose have posted a formal written objection and recorded an interview with Spectacle on their attitude towards the developers’ plans), are amongst many significant organisations to have questioned the planning application. And with good reason.

The developers are playing the practical usage card, and are shrewdly associating the building’s dereliction with inaction and obsolescence. However, Spectacle followed a team of architects who declared the pumping station structurally sound, and therefore transformation must subjugate destruction according to PPS5, but in what capacity?

Papplewick Pumping Station, above, is an illustration of a successful restoration on multiple levels. Built a few decades later, the water pumps are back in full working order and as a museum the station is an important focus of historical and engineering study. English Heritage, who have for the past few years failed to back any substantial arguments for preservation, have conversely put money into the ongoing restoration of Cross Ness Pumping Station, which includes plans for use in an educational context, and will be finished in 2011.

For Battersea, the local industrial heritage could play a huge role in the redevelopment of the power station site. Other suggestions include an exhibition space for artists and musicians, as well as a provision for housing archive materials indispensable for environmental, archaelogical and architectural study.

Beyond the functional potential for the site, it would reverse years of association with apathy and inertia, and could instead by synonymous with ingenuity, innovation and regeneration, perhaps even ultimately rousing support for a more public discussion on plans for the site’s regeneration.

A decision on the current application will be made by Wandsworth Council in July. It is not too late to register your comment or objection to its demolition.

Click Battersea Power Station for more blogs
Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.
See our Battersea Power Station project pages for more information and videos.

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Seeking actors. The Audition at Battersea Art Center.

Para leer este blog en español pincha aquí.


After  making the storyboard, all of us have a clear idea of what we are looking for. We have decided the shots, the camera angles, the atmosphere, the sound and the characters all we need to make the project real. Now we need to choose the real actors and we start thinking about the casting.

After publishing the advert on the internet, we receive lots of emails from people from different backgrounds and nationalities interested in coming to the casting. We went through all the applicants and decide the day the audition will be held.

Battersea Art Center.

Actors waiting in the entrance. We give them the script and the treatment and the audition starts. Different people in the same room moving all around, falling in different ways, showing different expressions in front of a camera, trying to be someone they are not..difficult task! Everybody seems to be having fun and enjoying the audition. That is good!

After the audition, there is only one more difficult thing to do…Choose the actors and be chosen from them…

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.


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Casting en Battersea Art Centre.

If you want to read the English version, click here.

Día a día nuestro proyecto va tomando forma. Tenemos el guión, el storyboard, la atmósfera y estética que queremos transmitir en el video…pero nos falta un pequeño pero importante detalle en el que pensar: ¡LOS ACTORES!

Cuando te detienes a pensar tanto en un proyecto, una de las partes más importantes para visualizarlo es ponerle cara a los actores. Lo hace parecer más real, más cercano.

Este es uno de los motivos por el que todos estábamos impacientes por empezar con las pruebas para el casting.

Redactamos nuestro anuncio y lo publicamos en Internet. A las pocas horas el correo electrónico está lleno con CV´s de actores de distintas nacionalidades, sexo, edad… Hace ilusión pensar que hemos generado un interés tan grande entre ellos.

Tras hacer la selección para el casting, el día de la audición llega… A todos nos parece divertido e interesante a la vez. Incluso el lugar elegido para hacer la audición tiene un encanto especial, Battersea Art Centre. En la entrada, los actores nos esperan. Desde el principio todo tiene un aspecto muy teatral. Algunos están sentados en esas enormes y antiguas sillas que podrían pertenecer a personajes de otro tiempo. Les repartimos el guión y la audición comienza.  Actores y actrices, muy diferentes todos ellos, en una misma habitación intentando sacar lo mejor de si mismos. Andando de distintos modos, saltando y cayendo de la mejor forma posible, expresando emociones ante una cámara, simulando ser quién no son, ¡difícil tarea!

La audición termina y todos salen sonriendo. ¿Qué os ha parecido? – les pregunto – Y uno de ellos (¿posible personaje principal?) me contesta: Diferente pero muy divertido.

Me gusta su respuesta 😉

Tras terminar con la audición, queda la decisión más díficil… Elegir a los actores y que ellos nos elijan a nosotros…

Para obtener más información acerca del proyecto “Speak out against discrimination”, pincha aquí.

Para obtener más información acerca de Spectacle, pincha aquí.

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