Tagged: Sustainability

‘Grasp the Nettle’ now available to view online!

 

Grasp the Nettle is the latest film from director (and friend of Another Kind Of Mind) Dean Puckett. This documentary explores the experiences of a disparate group of activists who came together in 2009 to create a sustainable community outside of the mainstream on a patch of derelict land at Kew Bridge, west London. I was involved in this project too (indeed, it was at the Kew Bridge Eco-Village that I first met Dean and his ever-present camera!), photographing and writing about the site as it grew and changed over the eleven months of its existence. It would be true to say that this was a place that inspired me both practically and creatively – and I wasn’t the only one.

Here, Dean describes what inspired him to make a film about the Eco-Village:

There was an intoxicating energy about the place, a sense of freedom from a system which many of us recognise is unequal and destructive. Yet this rag-tag bunch of occupiers defied conventional stereotypes of the ‘ecowarrior’. Most of them were ordinary people from different walks of life – some were students, others were former professionals. And they had come together to not simply occupy a piece of land, but to transform it, bit by bit – in an exciting and unnerving sense, creating their own reality outside the system. I wanted to truly understand this emerging hotbed of radical practice that was both outside and inside wider society, the people involved, and the way they understood what they were doing.

So he got his camera out – and the result was Grasp the Nettle. Having been successfully screened at a number of festivals, the film is now available online for anyone to watch – wherever, whenever and for free. I’ve posted it above, so now it’s your turn to meet the inhabitants of Kew Bridge Eco-Village and see what you think…

Long-time readers may be familiar with Dean’s name from my posts on ‘The Crisis of Civilization’, his previous film collaboration with Lucca Benney and Nafeez Ahmed – which is also available online if you haven’t yet seen it.

For more on Dean’s films, visit his website and Vimeo page.

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Grow Heathrow Open Day

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Many of you will have already seen my meeting with a curious owl at the Grow Heathrow open day last weekend, but here’s some other pics from the day that I’ve finally managed to get uploaded!

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Late Summer at Syon Lane

I was back at Syon Lane Community Allotment at the weekend and the place is definitely in harvest mode, as you can see from these pictures (click on any of the images for a larger version).

For more of my photos of Syon Lane, see here.

Summer at Syon Lane

Last weekend saw me at Syon Lane Community Allotment again. Naturally, I brought my camera along, and managed to get some great pictures of the site coming into its summer colours – and beautiful they are too… (click on any of the images above to see a larger version).

If you’d like to visit, there is an open day every Sunday from 12pm and all are welcome. For details of how to get to the Allotment, see the map and travel info on the Syon Lane website here.

For regular updates on what the Allotment volunteers get up to (and some lively discussion), join the Syon Lane Community Allotment Facebook group, or follow @SyonLane on Twitter.

You can find more of my photos from Syon Lane here.

More from the Land and Freedom Camp

A couple of days ago, I blogged about the week-long Land and Freedom Camp on Clapham Common in London. I visited them again on Monday,  and promised I would post some pics of what they’re getting up to! So far, the local response has been very positive and friendly – several local people came by when I was there and took part in an interesting and thought-provoking discussion on land rights and housing with the camp. Visitors are welcome, and the camp has a lot of events and activities planned for the rest of the week (see here for further details and a map of the camp’s location) – if you’re in the area, pop by for a cup of tea!

 

Land and Freedom Camp, Clapham Common

The Land and Freedom Camp arrived on Clapham Common in London this weekend – despite the best efforts of the rain, a cheerful and friendly group of activists have set up on a small patch of the common next to Holy Trinity Church. I went to visit them yesterday to see what was happening, and was greeted with hot tea and much interesting conversation about the reasoning behind and the necessity of this “open exhibition and demonstration”.

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More photos from Kew Bridge Eco-Village

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an update on the Kew Bridge Eco-Village project in south-west London. Here’s some more of my photos of the site, this time taken with a better camera! Click on an image to see a bigger version and more info.

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‘Be the change you wish to see’: A Kew Bridge Eco-Village Update

Since June 2009, a remarkable group of people have been acting as caretakers of a patch of derelict land sandwiched between Kew Bridge, the A315 into central London and the Thames.

This is a busy, congested and built up corner of west London where available land is at a premium, and this site had lain empty and unused for several decades before the eco-villagers moved in last summer.

Now it is a thriving example of sustainable living, as well as being community garden project and home to a fascinating array of plants and wildlife – the latest in a long line of different functions.

The site has always been much more than just a piece of wasteland; it actually has a long history, probably dating back at least as far as the Bronze Age, and mainly because of its central position between the river and a main road. The A315 has long been an central route in to and out of London – it is built over a Roman road and was later also an important coaching route.

There had also been a ferry (and later a bridge) at Kew since at least the 17th century. You can thus easily see how the centrality of the site to river crossings and main roads would make it a logical plot of land to locate a business or build other property, and how this would eventually give it an element of historical significance.

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