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
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!
Toscal (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain)
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
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."