I have just returned from my film that I saw at the Portobello Pop Up Cinema. It was called “London: The Modern Babylon, by Julien Temple“.
The film was a collection and discovery of footage from London from the late 1800’s to the now. I saw footage from streets I have walked and streets I have lived on be covered in the changed that have occurred in London. Covering war, depression, development, suppression, racism and Thatcerism.
As I wandered home I reflected on the film. Thinking “London, what the f$%k is going on?” Why did I think this? I saw how London was bombed and rebuilt I saw how the poor lived from now until then, I saw how the population of London has changed, I saw how “Londoners” rejected change and stood for change.
It documented how people were interviewed and complained how there were no white British people in London any more, that the Polish, the Jews, the colours, the women were stealing jobs. I watched footage of how the mob was always beaten and disperissed. I questioned why is London no longer like this? Why was everyone so beaten and suppressed now, not physically but mentally and emotionally. London seemed to of always pushed back and stood for what they believed in. No they lay dormant in their homes and their bars talking of times that have passed. I started to realise that although London is classed as the epicentre of change now it is no longer the case.
I was living in South London when the 2011 riots were happening, I walked passed the camps of the 99% outside of St Pauls. Eventually the government took control and calmed the locals and pushed away the “unsightly and unwanted”.
There is a large gap between the poor and the rich in London. I wander home and see the regular drunks in the alley ways, the smell of weed in the air and then I can also see into peoples lavish homes who must be oblivious to what is happening in the outside world. London is a struggle for the poorly educated and the immigrants. I have still heard today “there are no more Brits left in London” and this is often said with disgust. The people that say this are white and like their pork chops and peas.
Maybe I am more accepting due to the fact I am an Australian in the UK, I am a foreigner, I am not a Londoner, I am also from one of the most diverse and youngest countries on the globe.
As I got closer to home I think of the people I have met here. I laugh about how they can be so one eyed about their soccer teams, I laugh at how they are segregated so they don’t fight. I also laugh because most of these people are white. The most accepting people and enjoyable people I have met here are those who are from another country, who have fled here for a better life and some are just bloody stuck here as they have no “home” to go to outside of London. No matter what we all want a place to call our own, it is part of nature. We want to be safe. Safety has now become financial security. Government safety is watching and suppressing any niggles.
Working in digital media I thought it would be much faster and crazier than it is. I thought “Wow, working in London in digital media does it get any better?” I am still undecided on this. If you are too out there, you get squashed. Or they just want to do it cheaper by using off shore skill in Uzbekistan or Ukraine.
In the news Julian Assange has been at the Ecudador Embassy taking refuge. The UK government are planning to storm in and take him to hand to the Swede’s which they will basically be giving Assange to the US. This saddens me. Due to that fact that the UK Government can over-rule global agreements that a countries embassy no longer has any rights.
The world has just seen London celebrate the Jubilee and then the Olympics. They were celebrating the change and diversity. Where is this now?
Assange spoke out on a digital platform, he is wanted.
A punk group, Pussy Riot, in Russia spoke out about Putin. They are now gaoled.
Anonymous hacked the FBI digital infra-structure, they are now being hunted.
99% movement is hidden from main stream news in America. They are tainted as stinky hippies who don’t want to work for a living.
Facebook have been creating a face-recognition tool so people uploading photos to FB can instantly have their name tagged to it. Who else will use this?
Looking back on all this…..London: The Modern Babylon is a powerful film that has summed up the world I am living in and made me question it. I feel there has to be something bubbling under the surface of London and it is not off shoots of the Thames.
Embrace diversity, embrace each other live as a community not as a competition.
Perhaps, I should not over think my next film I see and stick to main stream films. Then I will be calm and orderly.
A great thing I heard today “Homophobia, I hate the term. It is not a phobia, there is nothing to be scared of”.
End of rant.