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…]

The Cultural Olympiad: Carrying the Torch for Art?

This text explores the cultural politics and poetics of the London Olympics. It begins by looking at the   growth of ‘feel good’ art in the context of the economic recession.   It goes on to discuss the contemporary role of poetry in public culture ,  and the  relationship b between the aesthetics of sport and literature. It concluded with a detailed reading of the poetry commissioned for  the Olympic Park. The first version of the text was  published in the poetry magazine Agenda in its Spring Issue 2012. Parts of it were also reproduced in Soundings 50  and on line by the History Workshop Journal. View the full document here:  The Cultural Olympiad: Carrying the Torch for Art?

London New Jerusalem 2012 : An Alternative Scenario for the Opening Ceremony

This scenario has been compiled from ideas  produced by focus groups made up of a representive cross section of  the East London community.  It is  related to issues discussed in Chapter 7 of ‘The Wrong Side of the Track? ‘ View the full document here:  East End Old London New Jerusalem Olympic Circus 2012