Between the years 1990 – ’93, the poet Paul Hawkins was squatter/occupier/protestor in one of the most contested of spaces in the U.K.’s recent and past history of place-and-occupancy wars. Claremont Road, in London’s East End, was an occupied site and scene for the protests of the ‘No M11 Link Road Campaign’. Paul Hawkins was there, and has documented what took place in his book, Place Waste Dissent, published by Influx Press.

In the foreword to the book, Alice Nutter refers to Claremont Road as ‘the symbol of resistance to the road-building programme of the early ’90s’ – Place Waste Dissent operates not only as flame held close as intimate torchlight illuminating that symbol, but as intravenous entry point into the sign itself. An immersive invocation of the sign and the times it symbolises, a border-shamanic reanimation act that brings Claremont Road back breathing bleeding spitting and bounding into the now. Into the Now that requires reckoning with what was and is still its Then.

 

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