Voices from the Village

An Audiowalk of a Regenerated Cityscape

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The past and the future are closer than you think…

Voices from the Village is part of Joseph Dunne’s research project into the role archives and documents can play in live performance. Joseph is interested in how events remain as memories, as objects, and as ghostly presences that haunt spaces. This participatory performance uses these remains as the basis of a participatory site-specific performance.

The  2012 Olympic Games has continued to haunt the public imagination as an event which encapsulates an ‘ideal’ imaginary of the future, yet only now can we see what that future will look like. The Olympic Village gives us an insight into what all cityscapes might one day become: uniform apartment blocks built around a shopping mall which sit next to an intensely monitored public park. Is this really the best we Londoners can hope for?

The Olympic Legacy has already begun to cast its shadow over the Lea Valley, and sooner rather than later Hackney Wick will be incorporated into the grand plan. If Hackney Wick undergoes the same level of regeneration as Stratford’s industrial estate has done then it will become truly unrecognizable.

The audiowalk acts as the catalyst for creating a community who wish to experience our rapidly changing urban surroundings beyond the purely functional level, “to experience place in a transcendent and unbound way – to feel the reality of things peeling from the social construction of location, location, location” (Will Self).

Voices from  the Village allows audiences to explore the Olympic Village and Hackney Wick in order to imagine alternative future cityscapes beyond the ones regeneration projects offer today’s citizens. By documenting their walk and sharing the documents participants will contribute to an evolving archive. The archive will function as a repository of documents that can be used to bridge the temporal divides between the past and the present, and in so doing resist against the homogenizing of history by embracing the subjectivity of memory and the fragmented conditionality of the archive. By creating new sequences for these remains, we might be able to imagine a future for London beyond the one the Olympic Legacy offers.

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