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Cities

Kinkerbuurt (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Multi-media: Video, Photos, Drawings and Project Archives

Themes: Public space, Street Media, Regeneration, Visual Reseach, Homes and Identities.

Infoquake (2001-2003) was a neighbourhood project which drew out neighbourhood stories past and present and experimented with ways to make new connections across time and cultures. The aim was to explore the transformative power of information and creative media when strategically used.

What happened? Street cinema, neighbourhood video interviews, poster actions, workshops, visual urban history research, publication and planting the seeds for the Friction Films project and website!

 

El Toscal (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain)


cabaret twirl
"Suenos Azules"
franco street signfranco street sign borrado
Visual Political Signs

"Long before package holidays hit Tenerife, El Toscal was the first neighbourhood of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital city of the island. El Toscal was a fishing neighbourhood. Today, it's a slightly forgotten area of town, considered by some as 'a bit dangerous', run down, behind the times.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife can be a strange town. 
I have too many memories of Santa Cruz town centre deadly empty after the shops have closed. Funny to think that this is where Nelson - 'that English pirate' - lost his arm in battle trying to take Santa Cruz from the Spanish army. General Franco's mark can still be seen on the town - a main street still named after him, a memorial to those who died fighting his side - in most places in Spain, you dont see that kind of reference to Franco anymore. Franco started his take-over of Spain from Tenerife. People say that Franco's men threw opponents off high cliffs into the Atlantic, with rocks tied to them to ensure they did not come back. Today, people can be spectacularly racist and panicked by arrival of migrants from Africa. And it's the only place I've been where frontpage news regularly features images of Jesus Christ crucified.

El Toscal stood out because it had a bit of unplanned city style, littered with hints of past lives. I lived there for a good year and a half, 2004-2005. El Toscal was a mixture of the old houses from the fishing days, some of which are now tumble-down houses inhabited by cats, little workshops, bars and shops, long closed-down cinemas, a big college for teenagers, the trade union building, neighbourhood tensions over gentrification, rehearsals of carnival music groups, 70s style low rise apartment blocks and one of the first gay bars of the island, called 'Suenos Azules' (Blue Dreams), which by chance I ended up living next door to.

Before leaving El Toscal, I made interviews with some of the people I met there and videoed some of the city space. El Toscal has a gentrification plan descending on it. Of course, many of the people living in El Toscal are concerned about how that will affect them. Gentrification normally ends up squeezing out the community who lived there before. This video material will end up as a short documentary telling some of these stories and showing some of the energy and creativity rustling around the streets of the Toscal."


Ouagadougou (Burkino Faso)

zaka walls former buildingzaka buildings and flagzaka half made building

zaka rubblezaka lone treezaka moto and rubble


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