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Bata-ville screening this Tuesday evening!

The Royal Institute of British Architects is hosting a screening of Bata-ville: We are not afraid of the future tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM. Be sure to come check it out!

Nice New Website

I've lost track of how many websites we've now built with our long term collaborator Dorian (now useful arts) but I really enjoyed myself today sitting together putting the last tweeks to the first iteration of our Jaywick Escapes film site. 

The new addition to our working process now is Dorian's little daughter ... it's hard to focus on html when someone so cute is trying to lure you into reading the hungry catapillar! 

You can see the new site here ... we're very excited to have it live.

All go at Abbey Gardens

The 2012 garden season at Abbey Gardens has begun and we are off to a FANTASTIC start ... we heard last week that the Friends Group have been successful in securing on-going funding from the Tudor Trust for the next three years. It's wonderful news to know the garden club sessions will continue and Hamish will be able to stay as our Garden Club Leader. Here are the times for this years sessions: 

Tuesdays 1pm-4pm  
Thursdays 4pm-7pm  
Saturdays 10am-3pm

The other big news this year is of course our entry for the first time into the almighty NGS yellow book - you can see our page on the NGS site here, I think we brush up nicely for the honour.

As well as the NGS open day we have a full calendar for activities at Abbey Gardens throughout the seasons. This year the events team are ahead of the game with this nice downloadable pdf calendar

AND as if all this isn't enough FOAG are also now on facebook and twitter - love us up here, listen to little tweets from an urban oasis here.

Bata-ville around the world

Because we distribute our film Bata-ville (2005) we have a very direct contact line to the people who buy it. I always drop them a line to see how they heard about it and sometimes the responses are fascinating, a couple of weeks ago Carol Williams sent us this message:

I am very moved by your film. 

As one of the characters says, there's a mystery there--the sense of many answers, but we don't yet know the questions. I think that is a very good way for a film to leave you. The questions rise up on their own.

The after-effects of Bata is a rich subject to have chosen (or been chosen by). What a wonderful way to frame a journey in search of community, creativity, home, mechanization, meaningful work. To ask: are we afraid of the future? (And how scary was the past?—What were the results 'on the ground' of this ambitious experiment in living and working and how have people negotiated the inevitable paradoxes?).

I thought the film beautifully made. And photographed. The faces will stay with me, as will the views from the bus, and the people singing. (Your air hostess uniforms were just the right touch.) The portraits and conversations you filmed go to the heart of the matter, as does your eloquent filming of the built landscape in Maryport, East Tilbury, and Zlin.

I saw the film before my own journey to East Tilbury where I am going in March, in search of the buildings my father, Bronek Katz, designed there in the 1950s. It makes a wonderful preparation. I will write again after I have been there.

Thank you again for your careful and inspired work. The film was an important experience for me, as I am sure it was for others who don't have Bata histories. Understanding what worked and what didn't in the past and presenting it with imagination and compassion is, I think, a good way not to be afraid of the future.

Best wishes, Carol Williams New York, USA.

Apparently like others Carol 'found' the film at the right time for her ... which for us is a very nice feeling as the project continues to feel live. In fact, there's shortly going to be a new public screening in London at the RIBA as part of their A place to call home programme. It will be on the 27th of March at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD at 18.30. Tomorrow night also features a talk there about East Tilbury - 'A Place Called Bata-ville'.

Somewhere & Ann

Somewhere in Largs

We spent a nice few days doing a test shoot for a new project  -  thanks to my brother Mark for this nice picture.

Valentines Day Somewhere ...

I just put a posting about these lovely images on the What Will The Harvest Be? blog, but as I uploaded such a valentines-style image I thought I'd pop one on here too for the broader Somewhere romantically inclined readers x

Another loft find the original IAEEKO trophy!

It's a shop knockout

Just posted photos of t-shirts dug out of the Somewhere loft into the shop...all 'vintage' from the 2003 'It's an East End Knockout' competition. Taking pictures in parks of my friends in large t-shirts is just one of my many lovely intern tasks!

How can I bin this?

Many Internet Miles with this Modem

For various reasons personal and work related Karen and I are spending a lot of time going through old boxes. The ones in my loft have been there for 10 years, before I got them out I thought "I haven't seen these things in 10 years - how much can I need them". As I took this modem back out of the bin tonight I thought "quite a lot it seems".

The trouble is what to most people might look like loads of boxes of redundant technology looks to me like the much loved friends with which we explored the early alleyways on the Internet. I have dialled up from bed and breakfast all around Scotland on this modem during some of the happiest times in my work career to date. I can hear the sound it makes just looking at it's grey form. It even features in the Horizon documentary about 'A Hypertext Journal' - directed & shot by a team we'd then never met but who are now close friends and often our sound and camera team!

At the risk of becoming boring on this topic it might become a series over the next few days ... I just found our first digital camera, the Apple quicktake and my 'Cyberia Women in technology Award' for "Internet Woman" - I'm not joking. It's a heady mix the combination of re-digitising your archive, lots of dust and random ephemera that is working from home when you're a hoarder.

Lawson Park - Possibly the most scenic veg plot in the world?

National Garden Scheme Open Day/s 2012

We're superproud to announce that our What Will the Harvest Be? garden at Abbey Gardens in East London opens this year under the charity banner for the prestigious National Garden Scheme.

The date is Saturday Sept. 8th, there will be loads to see and do, and much excellent cake, of course, so please save the date - more details here.

Karen's own garden up in the Lake District is also open under the NGS this year - on Sunday Sept. 2nd. A bit tricker to get to than Abbey Gardens but well worth the journey, it's a mountainside utopia of pigs, bees, fruit and veg with a lot of rain and some art thrown in for good measure. More details here.


Abbey Gardens - Growing space for everyone, on the 'Olympic cliff-edge'

Anne surrounded by the TV swansong archive!

Welcome to Somewhere, Anne

2012 has brought us a lovely new intern, Anne Carlin, a film student from the US. Anne is taking a class in London and will be with us two days a week till the spring. She's taking on all manner of Somewhere jobs from media management to transcribing to  - most impressive of all - willingly going to the Hackney post office for us.