Saturday 18 June 2011

Banned author, Iain Sinclair, to visit Dalston's Vortex Jazz club. Tuesday 28 June at 8pm.

Iain Sinclair, the banned author,will be reading and discussing his new book "Ghost Milk" at Dalston's Vortex jazz club on Tuesday 28th June at 8pm.

As part of the Vortex Wordplay series the evening will also feature music from the Dulce Tones - the musicians who performed at OPEN Dalston's St Barnabas event last September.

You can buy tickets here for £5 in advance

Ghost milk. "What does this mean?" Sinclair is asked

"CGI smears on the blue fence" he replies. "Real juice from a virtual host. Embalming fluid. A soup of photographic negatives. Soul food for the dead. The universal element in which we sink and swim"

"You can't write about this. They'll never believe it" Anna Sinclair warns Iain, her husband.
But now he has written about it. All of it. Ghost Milk.

"A wonderful kind of alchemy is at work" J G Ballard observed in Sinclair's writing. The Sunday Times described his work as "remarkable, compelling, bristles with unexpected, frequently lurid life".

Photo copyright of Mike Wells

Hackney's ban on Sinclair was imposed in October 2008 just prior to the publication of his last book "Hackney,that rose-red empire. A confidential report"

"We should not host an event which....actively promotes an opinion which contradicts our aims and values as an organisation - in this case the 2012 games and legacy. I have discussed the PR ramifications of this with Jules Pipe [Hackney's Mayor -Ed.] and he is comfortable with this approach"
Polly Rance, Head of Media, Hackney Council

Photo copyright of Alan Denney

The Council's invitation to Sinclair to speak in Stoke Newington was withdrawn even before the book had been read.
"Now I was one of them, promoted to the status of non-person" writes Sinclair in Ghost Milk. "I took it as a tribute, after all this time, to be thought worthy of being invited to leave the premises....My docu-novel closed with the erection of the blue fence around the Olympic Park...".
Burrowing under the perimeter fence of the grandest of Grand Projects - the giant myth that is the 2012's London Olympics - Ghost Milk finds a landscape under sentance of death...
"Sinclair's most powerful statement yet on the throwaway impermanence of the present."

Photo copyright of Mike Wells - 2.5 million cu metres of spoil, including radioactive material, is moved around the 2012 Olympic siteSinclair's Acknowledgements in Ghost Milk includes a final dedication to Hackney's Mayor Jules Pipe "...a constant inspiration as he remakes the borough of Hackney as a model surrealist wonderland".

Thursday 2 June 2011

Dalston's Transport Interchange "vision" to be realised (not)

Transport for London and Hackney Council may be triumphant now that their vision for a rail/bus Transport Interchange for Dalston will be realised when the 488 bus route extension from Clapton to Dalston Junction starts running this Saturday 4th June. However we were originally told that 70 buses an hour would use the Transport Interchange but it now turns out that only the 488 bus will use it (That's five 488 buses an hour, at peak times).

The bus stop is on The Slab, a massive concrete raft which was built over the Dalston Junction railway station so that bus and rail passengers could conveniently 'interchange' within the site. It was said at the time that there was nowhere else that the buses could stop. So The Slab had to be built - along with hundreds of private tower block flats for sale to pay for it. But TfL has since decided that other buses must continue to use the old bus stops after all because driving onto The Slab would just delay passengers. The cost of The Slab has risen from £26millon to £39 million and is now expected to cost £63million - just for one bus stop to service the 488.

At the time of the last Mayoral election Hackney said it was "fighting for a Transport Interchange" but it is not yet known if Hackney's Mayor Pipe will be on board the first 488 when it pulls onto The Slab on Saturday. Nevertheless if you want to line the route cheering and waving (or whatever) as it progresses from Clapton to Dalston you will find the route here.

Local people have not shown enormous enthusiasm for the £63million of public expenditure and the bus stop was sold for just £7.50 at OPEN's mock public auction last September. The lucky purchaser from Clapton, who preferred to remain anonymous, said "The 488 will be really handy for me to get the train from Dalston but I do agree that a £63million Transport Interchange seems a lot for the public to pay just for my convenience"