Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Power to the people... and companies?

My latest article is now up at Brazzil. It’s about a visit a few of us made to Caetano Veloso’s and Gilberto Gil’s old house here in London.

That was last Sunday. But I want to write here about something else later that day. In the evening I met up with a friend to watch the ICA event in Trafalgar Square: Battleship Potemkin with a Pet Shop Boys-written score. Surprisingly it seemed to work as well, although more in the build up and tension of particular scenes, including the celebrations by the local people and the ship speeding its way towards the squadron.

The only drawback was that our feet hurt. Still, we managed to stay to the end – which meant that we got a better view as scores of people headed for an early train home.

It threatened to pour down all evening, but didn’t. And even if it had I’m sure the same thing would have befallen everyone who put up an umbrella: hecklers behind us would shout at them to put it away.

Most inspiring moment? When the guards refuse to fire on their fellow sailors – you could even hear a small cheer from the crowd towards the front (how long had they been standing there?).

The only thing which left a sour taste in the mouth (and it was washed away by the start of the film proper) was some chap who sounded suspiciously like an SWP stooge, who began the evening by talking about Trafalgar Square’s association with popular protest and rebellion, drawing in the poll tax riot, Stop the War marches, Aldermaston and so on. It rather seemed to escape him and the socialists in the crowd of the corporate sponsors on the screen before the start…

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