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The Golden Temple, London, United Kingdom

Monday 23 Jul 2012

The Golden Temple

Still from The Golden Temple 
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New film reveals the darker side of East End regeneration for the London Olympics 

It goes without saying that the road to regeneration is a rocky one. To reinvigorate a community, especially at the scale undertaken for the 2012 Olympic Games in East London, local residents will face major disruption to their everyday routines, businesses will be affected and services that people have come to rely upon may be suspended. This is the focus of a new film by Enrico Masi and Caucaso Factory in association with Aplysia, Nordeste and Dupleix; a crowd-funded initative which examines ‘different stories from East London, presenting a bleak picture of modern society, between crisis and regeneration’.

The urban regeneration of the six host boroughs - Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest - in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games does not stop at the well-documented construction of sporting venues imagined by some of the world’s best architects. London has made a point that this immense construction and regeneration project will not create any ‘white elephants’, forming a large proportion of temporary venues and structures that will be opened to the public post-Games, however the ripples of construction are reaching outwards across neighbouring communities as demonstrated in this amateur film.

Shot with a shaky hand, Masi’s film trailer presents a select group of interview clips from a cross-section of London society: the experienced tour guide, sharp entrepreneur and gleeful shopper. We also catch a glimpse of a fretful shop-owner who relays concerns that her shop will be closed during the international event due to security issues, and a cynical photo-journalist who seems to take pleasure at the oversight of organisers who managed to miss radioactive material discovered during construction of the Olympic Stadium. Watch the film trailer below and share your thoughts in the ‘Your Comments’ section.

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