Archives for December 2012

Born to Flying Glass

In this talk, given to a number of  conferences and seminars in Germany, Sweden and the UK in  2005/6 I discuss a number of theoretical and methodological issues related to a research project on early  childhood memories of civilian bombing  in World War Two. View the text here:  Born To Flying Glass

Where East Meets West: Gary’s Olympic Game

The transcript that follows is from an interview with Gary Carpenter then aged 18, who describes the people he met and incidents that happened while he was working with his dad as a riggers assistant. I first met the Carpenters during a health and safety induction session at the Carpenters Road site and subsequently conducted interviews with each of them separately and one with them together. I was immediately struck by the closeness of their relationship and by the fact that this father and son team represented a very ‘old fashioned’ aspect of working class culture. Gary had started working with his dad as soon as he left school, and in effect became his apprentice. They both took great pride in the job, and also from the fact that to a large extent they were their own bosses. They were taken on as a team, controlled their own work process, [Read More…]

December Blog

A Xmas story about two films. Recently I visited an exhibition of work by Humphrey Jennings, whose book, Pandaemonium, was a key inspiration for Danny Boyle’s  Isle of Wonder’s  Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. Jennings was an interesting  blend of Romantic Marxist and surrealist, who played a leading role in the British film documentary movement  in the 1930’s and 40’s. Pandaemonium  is a montage of quotations about the Industrial revolution  somewhat along the lines of Walter Benjamin’s  famous Arcades project. Indeed he has been called the English  Benjamin.  In fact his  work is very English in its lyrical  evocation of the English countryside  and its people, and very un-English  in its  inter-disciplinarity  and range of ideas. One of the films that was shown was Diary for Timothy. Made in 1944,  after the D day landings, when the tide of war in Europe seemed to have definitely  turned in [Read More…]