Wednesday, 11 March 2009

“On Dalston Lane time itself seems to lie around in broken fragments....”

Don't miss this OPEN event on Tuesday 24th March when Iain Sinclair and Patrick Wright will read from, and talk about, their work. A film from Iain Sinclair's archive, called “Diary Film: Hackney 1969”, will also be screened.

The event begins at 7.30pm at the Cafe Oto, Ashwin Street, Dalston. E8.More details here.

Cafe Oto has limited capacity, the last event was packed, so come early to avoid disappointment.

Admission is free but the event is an OPEN fundraiser (see below) so please give generously.

“On Dalston Lane time itself seems to lie around in broken fragments....”

From A Journey Through Ruins (1991) by Patrick Wright

The quirky and thriving terrace, which Patrick Wright described in 1991, is now in ruins. In April 2002 16 Georgian houses in Dalston Lane were auctioned off by Hackney Council, over the heads of its tenants, to an off-shore slum landlord. Four were later burnt out. A fifth was damaged beyond repair...

A Journey Through Ruins (1991) has now been republished with a new introduction by Patrick Wright entitled Going Back to Dalston (2008).

"...the afterburn of that intrepid cultural historian Patrick Wright eddies around the chaotic bus stop: a spectre from St Phillip's Road still very much active, years after the host body has left town". Iain Sinclair 2009
The Star Bakery was evicted after the auctions, on the grounds of redevelopment, but has since been left on death row. The Council recently demolished three of the Georgian houses as part of its "conservation led regeneration project".

Former Dalston resident, Patrick Wright<, is a writer and broadcaster with a particular interest in the cultural and political dimensions of contemporary history. He is a Fellow of the London Consortium and the author of many books including On Living in an Old Country, Tank, The Village that Died for England, Iron Curtain and A Journey Through Ruins.

Mike Wells' photo of The Slab being constructed above Dalston Junction's railway cutting to provide an Olympic bus-turnaround. There will be towers of flats for private sale, of up to 20 storeys, intended to pay the £40million for The Slab. Now there's talk of a government bailout. But the blocks were never designed for affordable family housing.

“We’re on the edge. It’s like the Berlin Wall and the legacy is uniformity, dullness, storage boxes, a kind of globalisation... a future where the virtual collides with the actual...”
Iain Sinclair on the Olympic developments

Local resident Iain Sinclair is a poet, film maker, psychogeographer and chronicler of documentary fiction. His latest work "Hackney. That rose-red empire" has been greeted with popular and critical acclaim (but to Hackney Council's chagrin)

"Sinclair carried out the poetic realignment of London that would eventually earn him notoriety as the occultist surveyor who had recharted the city..." Patrick Wright in 1991.

In this latest film Iain Sinclair describes Dalston and Hackney as it was and as it has become.

The evening will include a screening of Iain Sinclair’s “Diary Film: Hackney 1969”

Funds raised at this event will contribute to OPEN's community consultation programme - a series of events responding to the newly published Council Masterplan for Dalston.

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