Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A Dander with Demarco

When trying to find your bearings and get a sense of architectural place, what better way to do so than with a guide? In the case of the below video from 1970, Richard Demarco takes us on a dizzying tour of the City of Edinburgh from the west end to, rather befittingly, Calton Hill. "Look at this."; "Come look at this."; "Look at that." His love for the stone city is offset against a distaste for, (rather ironically), the contemporary, specifically, the inability of the New Towns to illicit the same sense of identity with place as one achieves when living in historical porridge. I'm going to take a punt and suggest whilst external appearances of tenements in Edinburgh in 1970 evoked all the romantic notions of living in history, conditions within, would have been less than palatable. Just like Glasgow, Edinburgh had slum clearances too, with the latter only being on a comparatively smaller scale due to population, but both building new social housing to cope with the decanting away from the centre. Alas the marching drum of gentrification sounds in Demarco's Walkabout as he surveys the monument of Edinburgh's architectural triumphalism.

WALKABOUT EDINBURGH (link to NLS Scottish Screen Archive)

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