Blackheath and Greenwich: Olympic Memories and Other Journeys, a set on Flickr.
In my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, which I began in May, the extent of my cycling, and of my photography, has far exceeded my ability to upload the photos to my Flickr account. I have over 160 photos sets to upload, of photos taken before my family holiday in August, and in the six weeks since my return — photos from the West End, the City, from east London, north London, west London and south London.
As autumn continues, and the days get shorter, and the weather — presumably — will become less conducive to photography, I will no doubt find more time to make these photos available, but for now I’m dipping in and out of the archive, uploading whatever draws my attention, and to that end this latest set features photos from a visit I made, with my son Tyler, to Blackheath, the big, high plateau to the east of where I live in Brockley, in south east London, on August 1. This was when the Olympic Games were in full swing, and Greenwich Park, accessed from Blackheath as well as from the centre of Greenwich, at the foot of the hill, was the venue for the equestrian events, which I initially photographed here.
This set also features photos from later that same day, when I cycled with my wife and son to Greenwich peninsula to catch a film at the Odeon cinema — the rather wonderful new adaptation of the Spider-Man story, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” featuring Andrew Garfield.
The Olympics are long gone now — and perhaps interest in them has dissipated too — but I rather like these photographic reminders of the major upheavals in London this summer as a result of the Games, and the small rewards in the general life of the City, away from the hubbub of the sporting venues — in this set, the big screen on Blackheath and the Olympic rings that were briefly displayed on the river in Greenwich before being moved further west to central London.
Other Olympic reminders are in other sets from this period that I have not yet posted, and although they are now instantly dated, they provide a good snapshot of elements of life in London, which I hope are a valid part of my photographic project, capturing my perceptions of the fabric of London, and the movements of those who live here, at this crucial time in its history — on the one hand, overrun with speculative building projects and wealthy opportunists from all over the world, and, on the other, apparently in such dire financial straits that ordinary people are being subjected to an “age of austerity,” of unprecedented savagery, by the Tory-led coalition government.
Someone is lying — and it’s increasingly clearly that the liars are those who told us we were all in this together, and that we’d all have to tighten our belts — and now that the great diversion of the Olympics has moved on, I expect that, at some point, these ideologically motivated lies and the resultant punishment of all but the rich and the super-rich — which is designed to do nothing less than to destroy the state in its entirety — will rebound on the politicians not just at the ballot box but also in the streets.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebook, Houda Andalus Cheikh wrote:
These do such a great job at capturing what London feels like.
Thanks, Houda. That’s very good to hear, as that’s what I’m aiming to do – to capture what London feels like!
Houda Andalus Cheikh wrote:
Mahalia May wrote:
Mahalia May wrote:
makes me miss england
Thanks, Mahalia. Very nice to hear from you.
Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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