Sunday 17th April DARK DAYS and dispossessed spaces

11 Apr

At 7pm on Sunday the 17th April PASSENGERFILMS will be screening ‘Dark Days’ (2000), Marc Singer’s incredible documentary about the homeless people living in the abandoned tunnel systems under New York, filmed in near darkness and soundtracked by DJ Shadow.

The theme of the night is the dispossessed people and spaces of our cities. We will be co-hosting with Open Cinema, a network of film clubs programmed by and for homeless and socially excluded people (http://www.opencinema.net/), and all proceeds from the night will go towards their continuing work with the homeless. The evening will begin at 7pm with a screening of the winning architectural shorts from the Alpha-ville Festival, followed by a selection of Open Cinema’s short films. We will also introduce Andrea Gibbons, a PhD Geography student at LSE who has recently been editing Teun Voeten’s book ‘Tunnel People’, and who will contextualise his photographs with stories of some of the individuals he met in the tunnel systems – see his website http://www.tunnelpeople.net/. Finally, we’ll see underground derelict spaces through the eyes of the ‘Place Hacker’, Bradley L. Garrett, in his short film ‘Urban Exploration’.

The feature screening is a rare opportunity to see Singer’s ‘Dark Days’, made entirely on free damaged film from Kodak, and in collaboration with the subjects themselves, who rigged up makeshift lighting and steadicam dollies. This is just another stage in the communal construction of the living spaces underground, which Singer explores through individual tales (see this article on the film).

After the film Christoph Warrack from Open Cinema will talk about the heterotopic spaces of homelessness with Lindsay Parker (Royal Holloway) who is currently doing research on the criminalisation of public vagrancy and how this drives people out of sight, out of mind under the city. We will finally hear from Ajit Chambers and The Old London Underground Company about the plans which are currently afoot to make use of London’s own forty ghost train stations and spaces in innovative ways. The heritage value of such sites balances against their potential for new projects – see this Independent article and BBC news clip about the project. An urban explorer of London’s UrbEx community will respond to these ideas in terms of the very different work going on with these secret explorations and attempts to break into and record the derelict spaces of the city, as described in Bradley L. Garrett’s post on the underground in Place Hacking.

To help DJ the night, please add songs about darkness/underground to the collaborative Spotify playlist Dark Days. The best addition will win a prize given out at the screening!

7pm, Sunday 17th April, Roxy Bar & Screen, London Bridge, £4 on the door (all proceeds to the homeless).

Tony stroking one of the tunnel cats. Photo: Teun Voeten

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2 Responses to “Sunday 17th April DARK DAYS and dispossessed spaces”

  1. Bradley L. Garrett March 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Dark Days is a wonderful film, it will be a great addition to the Passenger Films line-up – apologies to everyone for not being able to attend but I am busy exploring the tunnels of Las Vegas at the moment. Much love from Sin City.

  2. Winch April 18, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Enjoyed the evening, thanks all!

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