Iain Sinclair on Nick Papadimitriou (and Richard Mabey)

Subject of The London Perambulator, Nick Papadimitriou, gets a good mention in Iain Sinclair’s excellent article about Richard Mabey’s The Unofficial Countryside in The Guardian. This description of Nick’s practice neatly encapsulates the theme of the film.

“The Unofficial Countryside was an exciting rediscovery for me: the unacknowledged pivot between the new nature writers and those others, of a grungier dispensation, who are randomly (and misleadingly) herded together as “psychogeographers”. Will Self, looking to JG Ballard, a large presence on the western collar of London, as mentor and inspiration, has recently undertaken a series of yomps between airports and cities: the ultimate shock-corridors of deregulated urbanism. A Liverpool clergyman, John Davies, took a sabbatical to hike down the acoustic footprints of the M62, from Hull to Crosby beach. But the most submerged inheritor of the genealogy set out by Mabey in 1973 – Cobbett, Defoe, the 17th-century mercenary John Taylor, John Hillaby – is the self-proclaimed “deep topographer” Nick Papadimitriou. A solid invisible, tramping and haunting Mabey’s familiar turf, the Colne valley: the canals, reservoirs and sewage farms of the Watford-to-Heathrow corridor.

When Papadimitriou, archivist and scavenger, a person who solicits arrest and confrontation every time he sets out to visit another decommissioned settlement, tries to make a record of the Bedford Court Estate, he carries one book as his totem. The estate is doomed, a parking lot for aircraft, but Papadimitriou, recording wild flowers, invading abandoned orchards, keeps faith with his chosen text. This is how he transcribes the episode in a contribution to the anthology London, City of Disappearances (2006): “I first stumbled across the Bedford Court Estate during an attempt to visit Perry Oaks, a sludge-disposal works set up by the County Council in the 1930s . . . The sewage works featured in that record of urban wildlife, Richard Mabey’s The Unofficial Countryside . . . Mabey drew attention to the rare waders using the works as a halt on their migratory flights.”

Read the rest of the article here

The London Perambulator will be screening at Curzon Soho on Wednesday 14th July followed by a Q&A with John Rogers and Nick Papadimitriou

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LIDF

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The screenings and discussions at the London International Documentary Festival went really well – it’s always fascinating to see the different ways people react to the film and to hear their insights.
Thanks to everyone at the LIDF for making this a thoroughly stimulating and rewarding experience.
Here are a couple of articles about the events.
The Invisible City: extended report and interview with John Rogers
The Invisible City: a rough review
Free Word – LoopLoop, Surveillance of a Camp in Spring, and London Perambulator plus Panel

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LP screening at The London International Documentary Festival

We’re delighted that London Perambulator will be getting two screenings during the essential London International Documentary Festival. There will be panel discussions at both events.

Thursday 29th April 8pm, Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road EC1R 3GA

Screening with LoopLoop / Surveillance of a Camp in Spring plus panel discussion with -Anna Minton, writer and journalist, author of ‘Ground Control’, Dr Fran Tonkiss, director of the LSE Cities Programme, Prof. Matthew Gandy, director of the UCL Urban Laboratory, John Rogers, director of The London Perambulator, and Nick Papadimitriou

Tickets and info here

The London Perambulator will also be screening as part of Invisible City an all-day audio, visual and filmic exploration of Hackney, the Lea Valley, Kings Cross and rest of North and East London. Panel discussion with Simon Pope, John Rogers, Tom Hunter and Resonance fm

Saturday 24th April 2010 10:30am – 14.30pm

More info and tickets here

Full details of the LIDF programme

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Screening news

Under/Over – Part 2/3 – Presented by Close-Up and Transidency
13th April 2010 Time: 8pm, Doors open at 7.45pm

Venue: The Working Men’s Club, 44-46 Pollard Row, London E2 6NB
Ticket: £5/£3 to Close-Up members
This season of films have been curated in conjunction with the Artist’s collective, Transidency, whose latest show entitled UNDER/OVER runs at the FOLD Gallery during April 2010.

The programme aims to complement the themes investigated in UNDER/OVER, as well as to draw out the comparisons between the films themselves which collectively act as a body of enquiry into those same themes which include; [self & enforced] mythologising, ridiculous labour, over work/under work and the in-between, an ongoing investigation into the deceptive quality of the Earth’s iconography and the spaces of war.

London Perambulator screening with:

Jaunt [1995, 5 mins] Andrew Kotting’s ‘psychogeographical’ experiment conducted along the highways, byways and waterways of the River Thames. From Southend-on-Sea to the Houses of Parliament, Kotting’s ‘Road Movie’ of sorts see this stretch of this our fair isle though the eyes of those who work and inhabit it, but ultimately though the eyes of Kotting himself.

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Podcast: John & Nick talking about the background to the film

In this episode of Ventures & Adventures in Topography, John Rogers and Nick Papadimitriou take a dérive through James Bone’s The London Perambulator published in 1925 – the book that gave John the title for the film.

Bone’s view of the city was idiosyncratic and hard to pin down, he was drawn to the overlooked and maligned corners of the metropolis. He dreamed of having the keys to the spirit of London and preached the virtues of night-time perambulations in all weathers. Themes that are also present in the documentary.

Listen to the podcast here (right click to download)

The rest of this series of podcasts exploring the world of early C20th topographical walking guides to London can be downloaded from Resonance fm

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London Perambulator at Media Playground

The London Perambulator will be screening at Resonance fm’s Media Playground day of events commissioned by Broadcast Media Sculptures. “Media Playground” present movies, discussion and radiophonic sound-art in the distinctive surroundings of London’s Foundry bar, 86 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3JL

Saturday 19th December 2009 3.30pm, Free adm

The screening will be followed by a  Q&A with John Rogers (director) and Nick Papadimitriou (subject of the film)

Also Class Wargames presents Guy Debord’s The Game of War, followed by discussion with instigator Richard Barbrook, philosopher Stefan Lutschinger and director Ilze Black – plus a collective playing of Debord’s game.

Earlier at 2pm: discussion for broadcast: Pathological Over-Sharing.

More info here

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London Perambulator at Cine-City

The London Perambulator will be screening at Brighton’s Cine-City festival on 26th November 8pm. The screening at the Sallis Benney Theatre will be followed by a Q&A with director John Rogers and Nick Papadimitriou – the London Perambulator himself. This session will be hosted by film-maker Grant Gee, director of the acclaimed Radiohead documentary Meeting People is Easy.

See the Cine-City website for more information and booking details

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