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Angel Alley - Postcards from East London

Running Time:
1 min

Star Icon 361


About this film

Angel Alley is the site of the oldest Anarchist bookshop in the world. Not a place you are likely to discover by accident, as it is hidden behind KFC, just next to the Whitechapel Art gallery. It says a lot about the world we live, when you find the Freedom Press behind a chicken shop!

I was originally asked to be involved in “Postcards from East London” by Jo Parkes (MobileDance) who I had collaborated with on a short film called “Home” over ten years ago. The challenge was to work with young people from Tower Hamlets to create short moving postcards of the area where they lived.

I was paired-up to make three of the one-minute dance films with inspiring choreographer Alesandra Seutin. The two of us worked over several months with young performers from Central Foundation Girls School in Bow. The ideas for the films came from the school girls, and together we tried to create films which expressed something about their unique experience of growing up in East London.

The location of Angel Alley was chosen by us because in a year full of protest and discussion about freedom of the press across the globe, the girls had talked about how important their own freedom of expression was for their own futures. They had also looked into local history, in particular about the Battle of Cable Street and suffragette Minnie Lansbury and were interested in bringing these themes into the films somehow.

The project was co-ordinated by East London Dance and funded by High Street 2012, a programme to enhance and celebrate the ribbon of London life that connects the City at Aldgate to the Olympic Park at Stratford in the year of the London Olympics. Postcards from East London was part of Big Dance 2012 in the London 2012 festival, the culmination of the cultural Olympiad.




  • Anton Califano (Filmmaker!)
    6 years ago
    PS The fact that it was burnt down recently, is enough of a story in itself!
  • Anton Califano (Filmmaker!)
    6 years ago
    Thank you "Your Worldview". I appreciate the feedback, and I hadn't thought about doing something else about the bookshop, but you're right - there are a lot of possibilities for other ideas based there...
  • Your WorldView
    6 years ago
    Hi Anton, really great short. I'm really intrigued by Angel Alley- I'd love to see something more about the bookshop- lots of possibilities for another short seem to be brewing there....
  • Ioana Constantinescu
    7 years ago
    Nice video, Anton. Ioana

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