That little piece of wasteland on Bath Road (Totterdown) that captures the eye as you pass it by and is occasionally occupied by the travelling community with their array of small caravans, open fires, and washing lines. The home of Scott Buchanan Barden’s mural, which depicts the Bristol Uprising (Riots) of 1831is witnessing its final days. The political overtures are being devoured by space invaders, star wars and a baseball cap wearing bulldog on a skateboard. There is no questioning the artistic capabilities of those currently at work on the site as I witness the fading of yesterday, but just my reflection of the connections between past, current and future struggles will be lost. It’s sad to see Barden’s mural slowly vanish while recognising and accepting the inevitability. In ten years time though I ask myself will people on the Number 1 bus, as they crawl past, still be looking at a space invader, star wars and a baseball cap wearing bulldog on a skateboard mural in the same way I have looked at Barden’s mural, I think not, but then again will it really matter and is it important?
Last day of the month, attending and taking photographs at the launch of Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Services. As well as being for victims of any type of hate crime the service now brings in legal advocacy, restorative approaches, mediation and conflict resolution services for dealing with hate and discrimination. Further information on the service can be found here and more photographs from the event can be found by clicking on this link.
The event consisted of informative talks from civic leaders, charitable and statutory organisations, as well as performances from the Brandon Trust, which is a charity supporting adults and children with learning disabilities and autism. Bristol City’s Poet Laureate Miles Chambers, singer Anthony Thegeya and St. Paul’s Carnival CIC.
Saturday afternoon 29th October and a visit to the Barton Hill Settlement, Bristol to photograph an event. An intergenerational audience awaits the stories of women, men, and young people from the local Somalian community. Towards the far side of the hall, a makeshift creche has been established where the children go about the business of play in total disregard of the adult world a matter of feet away.
I hear stories of inspiration, determination, survival, hardship, joy, and love. The young lady who talks about her pride of being British, a Man’s journey from a war-torn land and the struggle of seeking to integrate. I feel privileged to have shared my Saturday afternoon with such a vibrant group of people. The laughter is consuming, the stories intoxicating.
I leave, walk across the road, get in my car and turn the key. The radio sparks to life, “Security forces in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, have ended a night long siege, which had left 23 people dead and more than 30 injured. The attack came 2 weeks after a bombing in the city had left more than 350 dead.” This horrific event is taking place 7500 miles away from where I now sit, as I look across the road and to the building where through the large window I can see people smiling, laughing, the sharing food and children playing. I sit, pause, watch and think.