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elephant documents

Page history last edited by Panos Kouros 5 years, 7 months ago

 {textual findings, discussions with residents, meeting attendances, library readings . . .}




textual findings

Draper Estate. You are here.


Reframe. Counselling for individuals and couples. Change the picture


safer in my home.

I will not open my front door to people I don't know.

Legitimate callers please follow yur usual procedures to contact me to make an appointment.


parilladas del sure,

la mejor y mas sabroja parillada en el  sur de londres

[186-188 Old Kent Rd]


for removal of 




The Redeemed Christian Church of God. Mount ZIon. (The Dweling Place of God). Mount ZIon.


Why am I in hospital?

It has been decided to admit you to this hospital or mental nursing home so that you can be given the treatment and care that you need.

[private gallery at Kent street]


This licence does not authorise the placing of any advertisment upon the structure. Enquiries – Contact officer on above number quoting licence number. This notice must be displayed on the structure at all times. Cut along dotted line and return to the Finance Section address below for renewal of licence. Multiplex Constructions (UK).

[Hannibal HouseMultiplex Constructions]


think elephant, think oakmay

from a develpment site next to heygate estate

this walkway is permanently closed. Use gateway to your left for steps and ramp behind claydon,

from a develpment site next to heygate estate


Caminata por los Ninos y ninas de colombia. La caminata es la mejor actividad para el ultimo puente de Mayo. Es una oportunidad para disfrutar de la naturaleza en compania de amigos y familiares. Unase a este evento organizado por Children of Andes (COTA) y ayudenos a recaudar fondos para ayudar a los ninas mas vulnerables de Colombia.

[found in Colombian society, outside Heygate]


Workingman's death. Workingman's death follows the trail of the heroes in the illegal mines of the Ukraine, sniffs out ghosts among the sulfur workers in Indonesia, finds itself face to face with lions at a slaughterhouse in Nigeria, mingles with brothers as they cut a huge oil tanker into pieces in Pakistan , and joins the Chinese steel workers in hoping for a glorious future. Meanhile, the future is now in Germany, where a major smelling plant of bygone days has been converted into a bright and shiny leisure park.

[found at  infoshop, Full Unemployment Cinema flyer]


An Introduction to Poetry. Hear and enjoy some great poems read aloud, from Shakespeare to Shapcott. All welcome.

[found in Newington library]


Do you have to rub your nose in it ?

Dog fouling can cause blindness

scoop it, bag it, bin it

the council provides dog mess bins poop scoop bags

for more information tel. 020 7525 2000

circo loco -presents hypo -03 may

sleep comfort


Why are you so hapy eddie?-Because I've just robbed a bank. Mayday!Mayday!

[Flyer found at Infoshop, Crampton st.]





meeting attendances


It's all about regeneration the area, whats been happening as you all know the Hey Gate is being demolished and how the council treats, the Aylsbury? and the situation is on an in depended planning inspector is has being seeking objections and that closed on the 17th of April, i ve got copies here.

Theres one for me

theres one for Richard Lee and there s one for herry flinn

I suggest you read all that

Has everyone got enough? The mains thing said on most papers

First of all this plan is undemocratic and therefore obtains a number of the recommendations which has to be involved in a concept of , there you are. Sustainability you see when they talk sustainability includes democracy. The next thing is that the consultation process to reach their conclusions and the answer on that is they should know its not, ....

first of all they rejected the balance

second it is limited

And thirdly they did not properly insult the wilder  area, now we are an involved area, and if you ask people they would say they dont know whats going on.

I was  physically removed from their meeting

Oh excuse me you re supposed to be consulting us and you ve given us all the leaflets asking us to come along, in their head all the time is that “we don’t want to hear from anyone who doesn't agree with us” so they re putting all that to the inspector so that the plan contributes the London plan accommodations which involves the reduction . We ve also said its not deliverable in economic terms because the plan involves having a strong economy  with properties they can sell , i mean we don't agree anyway with properties to sell, but here its not realistic because no one got the money to buy it or even lent, its completely crap, so its all crackers, and we re hoping the inspector to speak . if this goes a billion pounds to spend on building new council houses in areas that haven't got any rather than destroying all this , there s just no justification, and this is what Richard Lee and the others have been said.

Now have you got any questions?

Well we're responding to their plan after getting the people to a local public inquiry and this is when they can say they agree with that or they disagree and the council will have to justify its self where they either wanna go with this plan or not I suppose and what the government really wants is something else they don't want to say, that's their policy, the cost of demolition is outstanding absolutely.

-And where are all this people re going ?

-They re going to wack? them into , its a social cleansing.

-Oh yes I understand

- The Hey Gate is not a very old building , no ?

- Ah yes, that's another thing the council said at the meeting on  Sept 2004 that they were about to fall down, nonsense, they are not that old to fall down, and the other thing they said which was untrue was that it would cost 30.000.000 p to put the heating , therefore demolish it, so I said OK if they said that,  they should give alternatives fix the electricity, furthermore this was completely untrue the heating was fixed with 3/4 of  million pound

- Been meaning to ask you, you have any other ex where the state tries to regenerate or change an area, a recent example in Greece is the new airport in Athens where the government did what was planned despite the residents rejection, what you say is can these plans being stopped ?

- Well one good thing is 1997 Tony Bler came here he wanted to improve the life of the tenants and nobody said to demolish or that, however that was 14 year ago and we re still here, so certainly there has been a lot of resistance  they thought we were gonna give up but we haven't given up 73 per cent of the people who voted said no no no ,and that is more people voted for any politician ever, the government accepted it, but this exceptional with the inspector, if his happens its a tragedy.

An artist was born at surrey square in 1905 , building along side, its of an historical importance. Surrey square is not going to be demolished but they will built on the park, they want rehouse some parts, they didn't want the people around the square.

a lady says: well I don't walk very much on that park, its not my way, I haven't seen it for years, my legs cant take me there, this electric wheel chair is so very helpful and everyone agrees. Except for listening to them make suggestions , we want suggestions, parks, center for artists, swimming pools, find other areas who can support you. Well there is a community council responsible for funding, and they use this kind as a trick,  so they said to people tell us what you want, would you like an extra lift and this and that staff ? And we suggested all shorts of things and then they said Oh dear this is gonna cost too much, to modify it , so what we have to do is plan the estate, so the demolition becomes the excuse,  oh look how many things we are in need of so better demolish it, and what people want is just to stay simply in their flat and have basic, but nevertheless people still vote against it, and they wont give it another chance, it's a smart way of thinking.

Well this area costs billions and billions, you can see Canary Wolf, you can see the millennium wheel from the top from here, so when London becomes ?prospets?(strong)?

Again these flats would be worth millions. Its like in Venice for instance. I mean there's a big economic crisis at the moment maybe it come out maybe not. I don't know if the time will come back to take the money they would want out of this place, this crisis helps, postpones their plans, 2003 a wonderful band because of the the coronation of the king, we had barbecue, we had bands , south Africans dancing, funfairs, again about the regeneration thing they re giving property but actually its not that, 1986 i was a counsellor 1990, things were different at that times, the word came up i automatically with Bler, they mean stng  else behind it. That's all in politics, always mean stng else from what being said, in Kingston upon Tames. Theres a squating island there and is being used for over 120 years by the Saxon Kings, basically its common land and it was hand over to the ILIA, FOR EDUCATIONAL REASONS, and recently went bankrupted and the council who was in charge tried to sell the island, and of course it was ridiculous, Gibraltar,we say that the monkeys are so smart and very nusty, do they have bad manners...

a lady tells about the Monkeys on the rocks of Gibraltar, dancing up and down, she comes from Gibraltar: in my garden I have lots of flowers, oh lots of beautiful flowers, you have to spend a all day there...

[Beckway street, Thomson House, General Meeting, 20.19,  29/04/09]




discussions with residents


People in here live like ants, this is not life, a lot of thousands live in there, and that little ones, that looks like them, I want to know what people want, all the balconies are together, so people walking the piece cannot bring them together, it is not a nice area, there is no privacy, you have to watch your things, its not an area for kids, one can pass by all across the windows.

Well small houses and small villages are better to stay in, if you don't like each other you live nicely, foreigners, refugees, isolated, coming from other countries, they don't pay, living for free some of them, the government pay, and r they living how they re making money, i remember a nice day in Westminster, Borough market is very nice but watch your pocket, music on Saturday night there.

[Discussion with Maryna, at the guest house, Oswin str., 11:50, 28.04.2009]


- Can you tell me what Bodeguita means?

- Its the   " S t o r e  R o o m ".  It is a famous cuban restaurant in Havana

[Interview in restaurant La Bodeguita in Elephant and Castle, 13.00, 28.04.2009]


- For example here we r having the Latin- American business center . It was an abandoned bridge it was really  discusting I mean really discusting but the Colombians came along and had the vision about the arches

     for a long time it was dead

- How long was that ago?

- This is the regeneration thing and what they did, now they are linking the community with the artists,  for example                 there's a children's group on a Sunday, this is were I help and they dance

-I wanted to ask you if you remember something nice to mention

-There's this fusion of these Grass-Roots artists with Business,

- Can you say the word again?

- G-r-a-s-s  R-o-o-t-s are art groups , they are artists, here you see the sanity between them and the small business, for example the children have their project and the adults they re adding on that, the y get like like grants and we pay rent that says that we can improve the environment and so we ve got this nice dance floor nice floor and we have this dance group. And there's this symbiotic thing with the artists and the business, and of course people come for the celebration and they spend their money on the shop, and there's working, that would normally be an abandoned bridge

    At the beginning you didn’t want to go in there and its beautiful now, they got a nice disco stand, a nice disco floor, speakers, they also support the all sector,, its a family thing, the family owns the shop their child dances

    On the second of August we have people from all over not only from elephant,,

-Do you think that now that the situation will change here? Do you think its something good?

- No  I like it, If its  something that will affect and improve the environment and create a safe environment you see here theres a lot of fear for the security but that s what the officials believe will make it safer on the streets , you see on this estate you don’t wanna be alone at night,

-It wasn't like that some time ago though

- A teenager and the youngsters know they can come here and they be safe

- This is how the new buildings are going to look like, do you like them?

- What am I looking at? Oh yes its modern

- This is a very old picture from elephant and castle. What do you think of it?

- During the war period this is,  were this typical South of English , because there were so many communities from different countries, this is propably the theatre.

- Is this the same elephant?

- Its probably. Don't know. Don't know. I don’t like the coloured elephant. I would like it pink, green is my favourite.

-Why is it called elephant and castle?

- I don't know. I don't know.

Here if you need to can send money home. Send packages home. Legal advice.             

- Is it only for latin?

- No not at all. Here on the Sundays all the family dance and they learn. Here there s DVDs and staff. Here they come and they dance. Here you can learn dance and staff. Of course I dance. Of course I like it. Here there s traditional staff from Colombia

[DIscussion with Helen (Londoner) connected to the Colombian society,outside Hey Gate, 13.40, 28.04.2009]


- Do you work here?

- NO my work is for the carnival, I think in Greece you ve got a big latin one

Carnaval del Puerlo.com.uk

n u a l a 10                     

you should send Greek people

send us Greek people

I have to go my daughter waits

[ Discussion while sitting on the Hey Gate bus stop, 28.04.2009]


- I come from Wendover, do you know it ?

- What are you here for ?

- I come here to take the bus,

- I'm Turkish-Cyprus, been 26 years here,

- Do you go back home often ?

- I do go to my country often, this summer I m going to visit again.

- Are you satisfied here?

- On what respect? On the respect of happiness? Yes I m satisfied here but I love my country.

- This is a picture from the council estate, do you know it?

- Yes i know it, I live there, I have a flat from them.

- Do you know about the demolition plan?

- Yes yes I know, maybe they do it in ten years, I hope I m back to my country until then.

- What was your job ?

- I was a shef

- Do you miss working ?

- Yes I miss it but I'm disabled I can't work

- Let me help you getting on the bus

[ Discussion while sitting on the Hey Gate bus stop, 14.30, 28.04.2009]


-Do you like that the area is going to change?

- If you ask me what they do must be based on people happiness.

[Interview while sitting on the HeyGate bus stop, 14.40, 28.04.2009]


- Can I ask you one question ?

- No

- Then say only one word from your language? Only a word, any one you like.

- a r z u n   n e  

[ Interview while sitting on the Hey Gate bus stop, 15.00]

Leave this place

- Can I ask a question, I’m interested in this area, are you living here?

-Yes, just the next block.

- What do you find nice and interesting for me to visit here…I’ am an artist and I want to learn more about Elephant and Castle…?

- Well, you should pick up the bus from there to move from this area and go to the place with museums and galleries…

- But I find this place interesting, it is like a gallery for me...like an exhibition with live exhibits, that is what I am looking for…do you know what I mean?

- Oh yes, but you should just take that bus, leave this place. There is nothing beautiful to remember from here…

[In the coffee shop, New Kent road, an old man, 13:20, 28.04.2009]


Chaotic Impulsive –Caprice (caprico)

- How do you feel living in Elephant and Castle?

- Very nice.

-Do you feel safe?

- I don’t feel unsafe.

- I feel much of the energy here in this area; can you imagine living here forever?

- This place has much of the bad energy, after the changing yes.

- It is not necessarily beautiful nice place, night time different story .

Violent, bitter. I don’t love this place … Unsafe    perilous precarious

 Dark side    - murky side

- If the man of your heart ask you to live with him, but only in  Heygate building, could you ?

- Actually, there are taxis that we can use at night time and the good thing is that it is  quite central so we can go out often …

[In the restaurant “La Blodgett’s”, in shopping centre in Elephant and castle(Lora is a student during her lunch…), 12:17, 29/4/09 ]


occupied play park

- miss  S. Is from South Africa originally, she grow up in Hey Gate. Single mother

She is working in the area as sociologist she is also a writer...we head a long deep talk...-

The life is running very fast here in Hey Gate… the most of the women’s are grandmothers in age of 30.Everything is out of time and out of control…

Children’s are Not able to name the feelings...so they become violent

We are Judging and not understanding... (Understand the cruelty behaviour – no kidhood)

 I just to play in this park...it was full of children voices and now is a dead place, we don’t talk any more, one is a fried of another, I am a fried to pass near there...

No, the development, the regenerate, the money can’t change anything, cant safe the people soul. We don’t need changing’s any more, we need to stop running and try to be there, to listen...

[Walworth rd, Hey Gate, 29/04/09 13:30]

buildings + sunshine

- Sorry do you have a minute?

- I can give you five min...

- Are you living here?

- Yes.

- Is it your choice?

- No, I could offer apartment here.

- I was looking for the nice magic place somewhere where I can really relax, can you propose me one? I need a castle in Elephant.

- Not really in Elephant.

- Where do you go when you need a place like that?

- In my boat. In  Southampton.

- Ok. That’s try to  be in here and now. In Elephant & Castle

Τry to have that  feeling that you have in your boat, (he closed his eyes)

- Οκ... No I can’t.     

- Maybe if you try to bring a boat too.

- There is no space        

- Imaginary,  but ok. What is this place for you? ( HE START TO DRAW IN MY NOTEBOOK, A lot of Buildings)

And place, if you can just give a title to your drawing ?

- Boxes for living.

- that is Elephant & Castle for you in this moment?

BUILDINGS+SUNSHINE we write on the top...14:34.

[Walworth rd, Hey Gate, 29/04/09 14:25]


Playing  with ball  and words, with the Chinese students  of graphic design…

Safe and precarious

Black white - dark-o

Dead body-bodkin

Dark side - murky side

Pain play -

Happening stepping Happy...

[Elephant & castle, park, 29/04/09 16:ο4]


-No the park should remain, its just a dump idea to build,

there were children playing football here,

just two years ago, so fast the area changed,

and now its weird at night, no you cant walk alone

-yes London is changing, for the better, now look how things are, changes are always for the better, people are unhappy, no one is going to leave them homeless, they will give them smaller houses, with higher standards, these buildings were built after 2nd world war, it is for the benefit of the area,

-Charley Chaplin is a great actor, I d like watching him at some time,

-No I prefer living at the present times

-Prefer present times

-I was there, at the bus stop, it didn't stop

-I d like to fly to Portugal

-A beautiful sunshine would be what I wish for

-The best for me would be to get a job today

-I wish I could be a professional football player

- I d like a 100.000 pounds and a partner

-Charley Chaplin is useless, he was born here

[Interviewing unknown people passing by at Walworth rd, Hey Gate, 30/04/09]


Tattooed flowers on the arm of the man in Elephant and Castle

(Ornamented skin with bloom on the arm )

He was a person that I really liked to interview, but I had that strange feeling...I was afraid.  All his hands were tattooed, with the rings in his fingers at least 100g each, I was wondering  will he broke the bottle of the beer that he is holding between that rings... And in the end he start to interview me:

-What are you here for? What are you looking for?  He show in my map with his ring.

-WE want the opinion from the residence of Elephant, for the changes that are taking this place from time to time and especially now by the regeneration project that is going on... than, we wont to intersect with a  Roussel’s novel “Locus Solus”

-Are you an artist? Yes, I am  sir...(I wasn’t a fried any more)

-Ok than, listen love: Elephant  is a small London, with everything good and bad.

-I want to live here in the way I do for years.

-I do not need changing’s, and when I do I can do it on my own. I don’t need someone to change things for me, I paint that building (he show the white house across the street)

Everybody here can do the same. We need to fix some staff  and not to regenerate everything...

[Outside of the pub Thurlow & Kinglake Street. 30/04/09 about 15:oo]


-you live in this area ?

-yes and work and do things all around withe rest of the Colombians,

-we are from Greece doing art workshops,

-your trousers is split!

-oh ! i didn't notice! ha ha ha....

-you ve heard about the new generation plan for the Olympic games ?

-no no its not for the Olympic games, the Olympic is nothing, you see, the building behind this

-not this one (hey gate) but the one behind, its 20 floors, this building belonges to the Arabic person, he's got to do with the council.

-well why Arabs and not Americans ? they re supposed to be everywhere, like in Greece, in this thing here Americans invest, they give the money, through the Arabic person, but now he has stopped because he cannot find the money to continue, you see

this is a strategic area this is why they want to come here

-you know a lot about things around don't you

-yes i know

-and you also know about trousers ( aha ha ha), i can take it off and you can sew it for me!

-yes i can try, I will do it for you (ha ha ha)

-so this is why they invest there, you see Greece is a strategic place for them to fight, to be in their base without problem, its impossible to go to Iran straight from America, its impossible to do it, this is why Russia wants with Cuba its only one minute, and the Russians as well invest in Chelsey,

-in Chelsey ? the Russians ? investments in Chelsey ? well, this sounds over reasonable,

- i wonder where will we invest as artists ?

-in the children,  for the future, in your family

I'm telling the truth

I'm always honest

I miss everything from my country, but I'm living here for 23 years. I used to run to Marathons, i miss my children, i miss the Colombians

People here are so cold

Helen is so common name

my grandmother was Helen

my wife Helen

[discussion with Colombian Roger, 1rst of May, 13.00]

[Interview by Columbian Roger, Deacon Way st. 1st of May, 13.00]


-what is loaves ?

-it's this seed,

-what is sprouted bread ?

-well something is inside, something 's sprouted in the bread don't know what,

-thank you darling , thank you,

-have you got any plastic cups ?

-what for ?

-well, you know, just to drink milk right outside your door,,

-I'm afraid not, we don't have anything like that, we re a food shop.

-but have you been here before ?


-well look how it works, we're all volunteers, that's how it works here, because of that we don't take any rages on the prices of the food so its very cheap, so in return what we ask is as people go around, finding the prices so when they come around to add up them selves, and that's the deal, we do this for nothing and what you do is some of the staff that other people would do for you in their shops, is that make sense? We trust you to tell us the truth, so basically you come in you pick up a bit of bin paper and get a pen from the desk add it up your self we trust its gonna be white and you tell us how much its gonna be

-You see we re from Athens so we are not informed about the prices here.

-well the prices are here, (written on top of each product),so if you wanted almonds, you put as much as you like, weight it up and add the price on paper. its just for you when you add it up, i dint have to look at the sheets, if you wanna write it down for this to help you that's fine, but all  you need to do is to write down how much it all costs at the end and then we go OK.

So other people would write it down , the prices to see how much it is and other would write it in their heads and that would be it, its all fine with me.

We know what we do and take a risk to leave the shop unattended and we base on the idea of trust that no one is gonna steel from us.

65 p donation, put the paper back so it can be used again

-do you pay rent here ?

-we pay very small rent 

[discussion with people running the food shop, 1/05/09, 15.00]


-say a word in your language

-h i z a b

[Public Library, 2/05/09]




library readings


I sit on the sloped banks of the wide Salaween River, which unlike the Moei neither froths nor carries bodies across on quick currents

[infoshop library reading: refugee, a zine by Suze b.]


An Introduction to Poetry. Hear and enjoy some great poems read aloud, from Shakespeare to Shapcott. All welcome.

[Poetry flyer, found at Newington public library, Walworth st]


..."Four ducks on pond

A grass-bank beyond

A blue sky of spring

White clouds on the wing :

What a little thing

To remember for years

To remember with tears!

 Feranndo Yusingo is a seventy-three year old Philippine man

who lives on a twelve-acre duck farm an hour north of Auckland...."

["The pig who sang to the moon" by Jeffrey Masson, pages 165-166, Book by the public library of Elephant and Castle, 1/05/09, 13.30]


"....is there something about the innocence of sheep

that stimulates men to ever - greater heights of cruelty ?

The apotheosis seems to have been reached in Buenos

Aires in the 19th century..."

["Next" by Michael Crichton,"State of Fear", page 111, Book by the public library of Elephant and Castle, 1/05/09, 13.30]




There is an arrangement of twelve stones that form a perfect stone circle. Closer inspection reveals that some of the stones are different colours. In fact, there are four sets of different mineral forms that make up the circle. Some Redstone, some Portland stone, granites, base concretes? There seems to be no logic to the placing of the monument, as it corresponds to no passage of the sun or moon or flow of water.

Astrologically, on a wider repeat circumference of this stone circle, there may be some higgledy-piggledy web-weaving going on. Leo is The Coade Lion at Westminster, a Mithraic Bullring at Waterloo for Taurus, another clue- Tower Bridge, a Libran scales of justice? But Dog knows!

[“Elephant and castle - Nine things that aren't there”, book found at infoshop]

Let me warn you, weavy traveller, lost in your miserable search for a tavern. Someone is watchng you but you can't watch back. Jack is his name and he is often around. Comes and goes, you see. They don't know how. A warning on the main thoroughfare you ignored. Just then! A shuffle, a flash in the dark, a knife? A robber? A brown McDonalds bag, a piece of foil blon by the wind. Had you worried, eh? Jack Sheppard. Dreamer, rebel, robber and master escaper from the best of prisons. The local rumour is that the two-storey house off-set from Church Passage, and I'll assume a whisper here, is the entrance to a subterranean passage that leads to the water side.

[“Elephant and castle - Nine things that aren't there”, book found at infoshop]


From The Raven, The Bride, The Soldier, The Lion, The Persian, The Sun and The Father. In death there is life. Mithra's slaying of the Bull.

There was also Nelly Waites, Mary Whitely, Ruby Cohen, Florrie Holmes, Maggie Hill, Ada Welman, Nora Nolan, Shirley Pitts and many others.

[“Elephant and castle - Nine things that aren't there”, book found at infoshop]
















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