Updated: Apr 16, 2020
[Track Credits: Sugar & Anetha - Candy From Strangers on Mama Told Ya]
The CSM MArch 2nd year public event ‘Shift Happens’ was approached with a vision for us to each address our personal interests under the umbrella of 4 categories: [shift] the civic, the climate, development and inclusivity. Each category speaks of imagining alternative ways of planning, designing and building the city of London. My project falls under the umbrella of ‘inclusivity’, where we express ideas of design that stem from those groups whom are underrepresented in the planning of our city today.
For the symposium I wanted to expose the ecosystems of rave culture that anyone who does not identify with the culture might not know of. I wanted to show the reality of working within the scene and what it means to these people, to present the side of nightlife that people do not see; not the dancefloor, not the flashing lights or dazed crowds, but the bar staff, the promoters, the artists, the managers and the venue owners, the very people who create and provide this culture. To these people more than others, club culture is not just about losing the night in an array of illicit substances; it’s about the music, it’s a job, a passion, and a way of life. I dedicate my film to those incessant nights, those raves that truly challenge the human body’s endurance, a nod to the perpetual rhythm of the beat, the night, the weekend that never ends, the culture that endures, that survives and thrives in each of us who submit ourselves to the music. The film confronts the imminent fate of south London venue Corsica Studios, a 2 room, 550 capacity and 18-year-old venue that has now found itself amongst the long-awaited redevelopment of Elephant & Castle.
The intention is to take you, the viewer, through the venue and invites you to share experiential moments within it, to join the people who work there, to gain an insight of the inner workings of the small independent venue while simultaneously creating an empathetic relationship between yourself and the subjects. I wanted the viewer to feel like they knew these people, like they were a part of the culture, even for a brief moment, in order to be able to understand the importance in these venues and the urgency in my cause. The film evidences new policies that have come into play affecting the scene and, with imaging of the proposed development in Elephant & Castle, proves them to be insufficient for club culture in the fight for space in the city of London.
Ending with a crude by somewhat striking collage of one of Delancey’s proposed buildings in the new Elephant & Castle town centre transitioning into an alternative imagining of the future town centre, the image stimulates the imagination to think of the potentials of these spaces that are being designed into developments today. What if the town centre becomes more than a destination for capitalist consumerism and instead is considered a catalyst of subculture by acting as the epicentre for the creative arts? What if developments begin with the most other-worldly, genre blending typology, the night club, and are designed outwards from there? This exploration through film acts as the base point for the project and becomes a driving force for the rave revolution.