Frestonia

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Phoenix

Active Member
Messages
622
Frestonia

http://www.halftone.co.uk/fres/fresmenu.htm
This is a lengthy series of photographs, 34 of which are here, to which I have added some narrative text. For that reason, they are probably best seen in the order arranged.

They were originally shot for a group exhibition on squatting, under the guidance of Half Moon Photography Workshop (now Camerawork). The project was eventually abandoned - the group was never able to formulate a satisfactory structure that met the varied aspirations and intentions of a disparate bunch of mixed-ability photographers, half of whom were constantly being evicted. Fuller details appeared in an interview that Dave Hoffman and I gave to Ten-8 magazine (issue 7/8 - Restricted Practices).

Whilst it probably seems curious to exhume work that is nearly 14 years old, I feel it has only gained in relevance. The problems of poverty, of homelessness and bad housing - especially among the young - have not at all been solved by government. Rather they are worse, as no visitor to London can avoid seeing - the streets are now paved in crumpled figures in sleeping bags.

This was never a project carried out with professional detachment and sang froid. Nor is it a polemical piece, that would be too simple to carry the reality. In 1974 I moved into one of the houses in Freston Road and became a squatter. I was there 8 years. I am extremely grateful for the experience, of communal living, and of community, which was unique. Moreover, I doubt I would ever have become a professional photographer without the freedom from rent, and the cupboard darkroom no landlord would have permitted. Of course, there was a price - the endless insecurity, the thefts of cameras, the deep erosion of self-respect for being, in society's terms, an outsider and a failure. But what the hell, I learned a lot, and was briefly a Minister of State.

In 1977, Freston Road, a squatted street in Notting Hill Dale, West London, seceded from the United Kingdom, and appealed to the United Nations to send a peacekeeping force to prevent evictions by the Greater London Council. The new nation-state called itself Frestonia. Whilst this was a clever publicity-stunt, inspired by the old film \"Passport to Pimlico\", it was also an acclamation of different values.
 

lev

Junior Member
Messages
144
Frestonia

::.. Very interesting ..::.. Please advise, what is the Time Theory | History here? ..::.. Why is this in this section of the forum? ..::
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Messages
622
Frestonia

Originally posted by lev@Jul 27 2004, 03:03 PM
::.. Very interesting ..::.. Please advise, what is the Time Theory | History here? ..::.. Why is this in this section of the forum? ..::
It is a reference point for time travelers and the members of the forum.

If we have time travelers going to the past or from the past it makes sense to know what the past was.
 


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