A group of residents living on the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate (often know as Rowley Way) in NW London worked with the arts and education charity digital:works to make a film about their estate. The incredible Grade II* listed building features frequently in TV dramas and architecture journals and the intention of the film was to give residents themselves the opportunity to explore the ideas behind the design of the estate and to examine people's actual experience living on the estate related to those ideas.
Resident Matthew Rosenberg and his colleague Sav Kyriacou, both participation workers with digital:works, set up and coordinated the project working with 11 fellow residents to make the film. digital:works ran workshops in which the group discussed and decided on the direction of the project and then learnt practical film making skills, operating the camera and sound, and also interview techniques. Over the following 12 weeks the group broke up into smaller units and went out and interviewed 35 fellow residents across the estate aged 3 to 103. The architect Neave Brown was interviewed to find out what his ideas were and to get a sense of the culture and politics that surrounded the planning and building of the estate. In addition the engineer for the building, Max Fordham, and landscape designer Janet Jack were interviewed.
The dedicated website below includes the short and long version of the film.
This project explores who we are, where we've come from and where we're going - as individuals and as communities.
Our Working Lives explores how work patterns have changed from the 20th to the 21st century. It uses the Poole/Parkstone area as a launching pad to investigate people's memories of leaving school and entering the workforce between 1945 and 1950. The project compares this to the present day by interviewing people about their situation now.
digital:works is an arts and educational charity that works with communities, providing training and creative assistance to produce arts and media projects.
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