The impact on the built environment, heritage and conditions of living for the city dwellers of the so called “Regeneration project” related to London 2012 Olympics was to be predictably phenomenal. The site, located in Stratford, east London, is surrounded by the most diverse, and deprived, boroughs in the city, but, according to the Institutions and the organizers, the “Regeneration Games” would generate in this area, with all the new infrastructures and cultural projects involved, a lot of improvements, including positive economic impact and a sense of community and togetherness, thus leaving a long-lasting post-Olympic ‘legacy’. However, sceptic if not discordant voices questioned the truth of such a promising regeneration programme since its inception. Iain Sinclair’s was one of them. The psycho-geographer’s documentary fiction "Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire" (2009), dedicated to the area where he has lived for forty years and which has been largely affected by the Olympic ‘Big Build’, talked about “the whole Olympic Park, the regeneration of this part of London” as “doomed”, “with no more forward logic than the original development of the city itself” (447) and of “a virtual world”, with its mounds and stadia, offered to “investors prepared to mortgage a city’s future on the demolition and ransacking of a mythical past” (541). The mission there – Sinclair also said – was not to unearth, preserve and cherish, but to excavate and obliterate, so that what was really at stake seemed to be the preservation of memory against a propagandistic myth of regeneration. In his following documentary fiction "Ghost Milk" (2011), he extensively talked about the ephemeral archaeological ‘ruins with no memory’ the Olympic games would actually leave: a subject that the documentary "London Last Days" by local film makers Daniele Rugo and Abi Weaver also specifically tried to explore when asking the question that in those days seemed to loom over London: ‘is there life after the Olympics?’. Challenging the vague, optimistic claims that this event would make everything better and that it was entirely imbued with sport, fraternity and tolerance, the documentary used the area history to predict its future after the Olympics. Sifting through both ruins and legacies, it called on people to imagine something there that was not there anymore and something that was not there yet.

Esposito, L. (2012). Ruins with No Memory: Critical Enquiries into the Olympic ‘Regeneration’ Myth. In Laura Di Michele (a cura di), Regenerating Community, Territory, Voices. Memory and Vision (pp. 241-249). ITA : Liguori Editore.

Ruins with No Memory: Critical Enquiries into the Olympic ‘Regeneration’ Myth

ESPOSITO, Lucia
2012

Abstract

The impact on the built environment, heritage and conditions of living for the city dwellers of the so called “Regeneration project” related to London 2012 Olympics was to be predictably phenomenal. The site, located in Stratford, east London, is surrounded by the most diverse, and deprived, boroughs in the city, but, according to the Institutions and the organizers, the “Regeneration Games” would generate in this area, with all the new infrastructures and cultural projects involved, a lot of improvements, including positive economic impact and a sense of community and togetherness, thus leaving a long-lasting post-Olympic ‘legacy’. However, sceptic if not discordant voices questioned the truth of such a promising regeneration programme since its inception. Iain Sinclair’s was one of them. The psycho-geographer’s documentary fiction "Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire" (2009), dedicated to the area where he has lived for forty years and which has been largely affected by the Olympic ‘Big Build’, talked about “the whole Olympic Park, the regeneration of this part of London” as “doomed”, “with no more forward logic than the original development of the city itself” (447) and of “a virtual world”, with its mounds and stadia, offered to “investors prepared to mortgage a city’s future on the demolition and ransacking of a mythical past” (541). The mission there – Sinclair also said – was not to unearth, preserve and cherish, but to excavate and obliterate, so that what was really at stake seemed to be the preservation of memory against a propagandistic myth of regeneration. In his following documentary fiction "Ghost Milk" (2011), he extensively talked about the ephemeral archaeological ‘ruins with no memory’ the Olympic games would actually leave: a subject that the documentary "London Last Days" by local film makers Daniele Rugo and Abi Weaver also specifically tried to explore when asking the question that in those days seemed to loom over London: ‘is there life after the Olympics?’. Challenging the vague, optimistic claims that this event would make everything better and that it was entirely imbued with sport, fraternity and tolerance, the documentary used the area history to predict its future after the Olympics. Sifting through both ruins and legacies, it called on people to imagine something there that was not there anymore and something that was not there yet.
9788820757243
Esposito, L. (2012). Ruins with No Memory: Critical Enquiries into the Olympic ‘Regeneration’ Myth. In Laura Di Michele (a cura di), Regenerating Community, Territory, Voices. Memory and Vision (pp. 241-249). ITA : Liguori Editore.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/412765
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