went to see the film the london perambulator at the free word centre in london last week. it was playing as part of the london international documentary festival. john rogers’ film follows nick papadimitriou, an english eccentric, urban wanderer, and appreciator/chronicler of the fringes of the city, around to various locales on the outskirts or “edgelands” of the city of london and other places most would not desire to go.
i really related to nick, as i too often find myself wandering through the backstreets of brooklyn & queens, sometimes walking, sometimes on bicycle. i enjoy discovering strange overgrown places that noone seems to notice, the inbetween places, places that maybe once were thriving but now are abandoned and decaying.
afterwards there was a short talk and a q&a. nick talked about a time period he spent in poland where he found it more difficult to experience an enjoyable wander since the place was completely foreign to him, he said it took him about 6 months to adapt to his surroundings. i also feel this way when i am out photographing, i need to feel somewhat familiar with the place before i succeed in taking any worthwhile images.
i wish i had asked nick about the role of photography in his wanders but i never seem to be able to open my mouth during these q&a sessions. he did have some documentation (stills) of his journeys but it seemed to me that the act of photographing/documenting the journey was not as important to nick as the journey itself, his experience and memory of it.
More info on The London Perambulator here.