Catalogue > At random

Steven Ball, Novaković, Rastko

Concrete Heart Land

Doc. expérimental | hdv | couleur et n&b | 25:0 | Royaume-Uni | 2014

Concrete Heart Land exposes the social cleansing of the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, South London. It marks the moment that the estate was finally lost as social housing to make way for an unjust `regeneration` scheme. Assembled from 12 years of archive materials the film charts the struggles of the local community to keep their homes, stay living in the area, and maintain communal benefits in the face of the advance of this now notorious `urban redevelopment programme`. Throughout the film we hear the community engaging in some of the crucial battles with elected officials, planners, and barristers in municipal planning meetings, public enquiries, and interviews. Weaving through these recordings is a performance staged in 2012 on the then still inhabited estate. An assembled group of past and present residents, community activists, and critics of the Heygate plans chant texts composed from phrases used in the Regeneration Masterplan. The performances parody the technical language of regeneration and the aspirational language of gentrification. Over the course of 2012 and 2013 we filmed panoramic video images of the estate and interiors of some of the Heygate flats, all of which feature in the film.

Steven Ball`s current practice engages with landscape and spatial representation, in local and global, social, political and post-colonial spheres. He also writes about contemporary and historical moving-image related practice, and curates screenings and exhibitions. Since 2003 he has been Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where he was instrumental in developing the British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection. He is also a member of the legendary post-punk DIY group Storm Bugs. Rastko Novaković used to be a filmmaker. He has made over 30 moving image works, from one minute to feature-length videos, panoramas, open-air cinemas, documentaries, lyrical films, campaigning videos, documented performances, interventions in histories and spaces. His works include April Showers (2011) a docu-fiction about a student terrorist group at University College London and lebensraum | living space (2009) which stages a Yugoslav war diary on the streets of London. He now spends most of his time organising at his workplace and with different communities.