Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Listen to the stories of Kenal Rise with John Rogers

Something a bit different from John Rogers. As he explains on YouTube

This is a video of my project for Brent 2020 London Borough of Culture in collaboration with the wonderful Kensal Rise Library which ran from January 2020 to January 2021. Kensal Rise Has A Story tells the story of the streets around Kensal Rise Library through the voices of local people and is part of the inaugural Brent Biennal

I explained the project in an interview with Art Review

It’s a geographic sound map or trail of Kensal Rise. The form the project takes has partly been informed by the COVID-19 restrictions. I had planned this beautiful archive inside the library and some of the sound works were going to be burnt onto vinyl which could be listened to within a listening booth. We’ve not got those, but its ok, those were outcomes, they weren’t really the work itself which is a portrait of the community in their own words. 

By ‘community’ I mean the community of the library. Where it becomes geographic is that the emphasis is on the subjective responses to the environment and the changes within that environment rather than looking for some objective, dry, historical overview of the area, or even contemporary commentary on the area.

The ethos of the Kensal Rise Library is at the heart of the project. About 60 percent of the contributors are connected to the library, as users or in some other way. You can’t listen to any of the clips without feeling the presence of the library.

The unusual pub name near the end - Paradise by way of Kensal Green - is a reference to a poem by G.K. Chesterton.

John has a Patreon account to support his videos and blogs at The Lost Byway.

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