Losing the Marshes: Preview

On Tuesday 12th November at 7pm there will be a premiere screening of the film ‘Losing the Marshes: A true story of the Olympics’ at the Red Gallery for the ‘Making Something Out Of Nothing’ season.

People gather to discuss the legacy proposals for Hackney Marshes.

People gather to discuss the legacy proposals for Hackney Marshes.

Shot over 5 years, ‘Losing the Marshes’ observes the changing landscape of our local area and the impact upon local people as the Olympic site is constructed. The focus is upon East Marsh, a piece of common land used freely by generations of Hackney citizens until it was commandeered by the Olympic Delivery Authority for a massive coach park to service the London 2012 Olympics.

From the trailer, it is clear that this film has captured unique footage from a pre-Olympics era on the marshes, a peaceful era brought to an end when the multi-billion pound show rolled into town, promising to ‘inspire’ and ‘regenerate’ our land and lives. Its elegiac title resonates with those of us who experienced the temporary loss of not just our marshes but the experience of roaming them freely; signifies our knowledge that all that was lost has not been regained; and prophecises that the ‘legacy’ left belongs not collectively to us but primarily to the property profiteers carving up East London.

Including extensive interviews with those who frequented the marshes and the Olympic site prior to its momentous re-shaping, it documents an alternative narrative from those who walked its wild paths, played upon its open fields and were unwilling forced outside the new fences and into the shadow of the contractors’ new playground as they turned old to new, green to grey.

This is the story of how property developers bought public land, using public money, for private profit under the guise of the Olympic Games. But it is also about the use of public space, its social importance and how urban communities coexist. And the marshes have an incredible history, one landscaped and scarred by the activity of men and women over the generations.

Describing the film, its director Kym Oeser said, ““Losing the Marshes has been the most difficult and challenging film I have made to date…This was down to the complexity of the subject, which spans over 100 years.”

The screening will be free and will be followed by a panel discussion about the issues raised in the film chaired by Kym Oeser. The trailer and more information can be found here: http://losingthemarshes.com/

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