Document Scotland in Beijing

COVER

 

To celebrate the Chinese New Year we’ve decided to make a small compendium of photographs taken by the four of us, Sophie, Colin, Stephen, and Jeremy, in Beijing over the past two years. You can download, free of charge, the pdf of work via the following link. Download ‘DOC004: Document Scotland in Beijing’ here.

Document Scotland has an affinity for Beijing, and in particular for a bar near the HouHai Lake, as that, incredible though it may be, is where the idea for the forming of our collective was first voiced in 2012. As the lights revolved, and the karaoke croaked, Jeremy and Colin discussed the idea over a Tsingtao beer. The following day the idea was put to Stephen who was also in Beijing, working on the same project as Colin and Jeremy, and all of a sudden Document Scotland had three members. Sophie joined the collective a little while later, once the idea had progressed from a discussion to actually being a website and a plan.

In 2013 Sophie, Colin and Jeremy once again returned to Beijing to photograph in the streets, as part of the Vision Beijing project which brought 50 world photographers to the capital to shoot for one week.

The work you see in this little pdf  comes from both the 2012 and 2013 trips, and features work by all four members of Document Scotland. We hope you can download it and enjoy it today, the day of the Chinese New Year. 新年快乐.

 

BACKCOVER

Download ‘DOC004: Document Scotland in Beijing’ here.

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The Glasgow Renaissance

Chris Leslie is a documentary photographer and film-maker based in Glasgow. We were very pleased to feature his work at our Document Scotland Summer Salon event in August last year.

For 3 years now, Chris has been working on a long term photography and multimedia project, The Glasgow Renaissance, documenting the city of Glasgow as it undergoes a widescale regeneration project.

Currently looking for funding to support his latest piece from the project – a film called Lights Out, Chris took some time to talk to us about his dedication and commitment to the subject.

CL – This is a trailer for Lights Out – it is a film about my favourite brutalist but beautiful high rise flats in Glasgow. Both blocks are now completely empty of residents and completely sealed.

 

DS – This is a component piece of The Glasgow Renaissance project which you’ve been working on for 3 years now –  how did the whole project come about in the first place?

CL – The Glasgow Renaissance is a follow on for my multimedia Masters project at LCC that I completed and got a distinction for in 2010. For this I documented 4 stories on regeneration in Glasgow, from an eviction of Margaret Jaconelli in Dalmarnock to the death of Paddy’s Market, as well as the demolition of the High rise flats in Sighthill. I then got a few commissions around the Red Road Flats, which had an arts and culture project running alongside the first stage of demolition, but for the most part I documented other condemned high rise flats from my own time and expense. It wasn’t a project I had in my mind from start to finish, it just kind of evolved this way and then I started to work around the title and theme of the Glasgow Renaissance.

Bluevale Flats, Glasgow © Chris Leslie 2013 all rights reserved

Bluevale Flats, Glasgow © Chris Leslie 2013 all rights reserved

 

Red Road Flats, Glasgow pre demolition © Chris Leslie 2012 all rights reserved

Red Road Flats, Glasgow pre demolition © Chris Leslie 2012 all rights reserved

 

DS – Why did you title it The Glasgow Renaissance? Was that a term you knew of or something you created?

CL – The title of the project came from a quote from Glasgow City Council, the leader at the time, Stephen Purcell, when the city launched their plan of the mass demolition of a series of high rise flats across the city. He spoke of a ‘change in Glasgow’s Skyline’ and that Glasgow was undergoing ‘a real renaissance’. And importantly that they would not ‘repeat the same mistakes of the past’ when it came to housing. For myself and most Glaswegians we all want a Renaissance, and in particular in the east end of the city there is a desperate need.  But its important to me that you question everything that is proposed in regeneration and that for some, regeneration and a renaissance can have a negative impact on their lives.