It’s all about Tooting baby!!

17 May

When I went round to view my new house in Tooting, my then potential-new-housemate Katie Bonna (a spoken word artist) told me all about a new project that she was involved with that was happening in Tooting market later in April. She told me about it briefly and we had a very animated conversation, getting all excited about the possibilities of incorporating some film work into the project. I said to her that with all these exciting possibilities happening on my potential-new-doorstep now seemed like a very good time to move to Tooting!!

And then I did!

The project Katie told me about was called ‘The Brick Box Tooting Spring Festival’. Brick Box have taken over the Tooting market café and have turned it into an arts ‘hub’. They also run a similar project in Brixton Village market. The festival was a way of launching the Brick Box café and it ran from 11am to 4pm and then from 10pm to 4am on 23/24/30 April and 1st May and included poetry, live art, film, art, dance, workshops, and general merriment!

Katie and her poetry collective ‘Dirty Hands’ were busy throughout the festival, they organised treasure hunts, a lemonade (or serenade) stand, created a ‘Poetry Den’, held a ‘Poetry Picnic’ and performed ‘Master Poet’…

Katie and I worked together and planned the film part of the day.  We wanted to film people from the Tooting community performing poetry. We really wanted the poetry film to be about the city and the community, we toyed with the idea of writing something specifically for the film but then decided to use an existing poem. Katie chose ‘Preludes’ a beautiful poem by TS Eliot, which worked brilliantly because that poem really tastes and smells of the city and evokes beautiful imagery.

I was lucky enough to have the help of Chris Williams from Drunken Chorus to help me with the making of the film, he came down for the weekend to experience the festival. Katie and I also roped in Verity, another of our housemates to help out as well!

We filmed for two sessions – 2–4pm and then 12–2am. I was a bit worried that people attending the festival might not want to be part of the poetry film, but we had an amazing response and got about 30 people to be in the film, including some of the market traders!

I’m currently editing the film and once it’s finished we want to arrange a screening for all involved at the Brick Box café in Tooting market and then put the film online.

Chris and I were very inspired by this festival… Tooting market is a brilliant space, and it was great to see it being used essentially as an arts venue, while all of the market stalls were still trading. In the evening section of the festival though the market space was totally transformed; all of the stalls were closed and market hall was lit by fairy lights. It was beautiful. And all over the market space different performances, installations and activities were happening. It was such a great and unusual event, and brilliant to be happening in my new home of Tooting Broadway!…

Exciting times x

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