Samuel House, the final block in Hackney’s Haggerston estate, was demolished in autumn 2014. Having lived in the the estate for seventeen years, Zimmerman witnessed the property's abandonment by Hackney Council and its fall into dereliction, both architecturally and socially. This arc is exemplary of a nationwide, even international, shift in the character and fabric of the inner cities.
Shot over a seven-year period from within the estate, the film captures the utopian quality of the last few years of the buildings’ existence, a period when, because demolition was inevitable, a sense of the possible prevailed. This period was marked by the emergence of new social and organisational relationships and a fresh understanding of how the estate’s spaces might be used.
Weaving together architectural studies, intimate portraits of residents and their staged re-enactments of historical scenes, Estate points to broader questions of community voice, representation and marginality, ultimately asking how we might resist being framed exclusively through class, gender, disability or geography.
Estate, a Reverie, UK 2015, DCP, colour, sound, 83 min
The screening is preceded by the artist's reading of a short text composed for the occasion by art critic John Berger. After the film, Zimmerman speaks in conversation with David Roberts, the film’s co-producer, Simon Elmer and Geraldine Dening from Architects for Social Housing, performance artist Carly-Jayne Hutchinson and architect Kate Macintosh, who will each outline their ongoing engagement with housing, architecture, art and activism in London. The discussion is chaired by Shumi Bose, architectural teacher, editor and co-curator of the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennial.
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About Andrea Luka Zimmerman
Andrea Luka Zimmerman (born 1969, Germany) is a London-based artist and activist whose work examines themes of political resistance, globalisation, power and denied histories. She is co-founder of the artists' collective Fugitive Images, a cross-disciplinary, cultural activist producing agency, with a particular interest in, and commitment to, the social organisation of urban space. Zimmerman was the recipient of the 2014 Artangel Open award for her forthcoming collaborative project Cycle (2017) with Adrian Jackson, and a nominee of the 2015 Jarman Award.