Saturday, 6 December 2008

Cambridge photo

This photo was taken when I was at Yarmouth art school and mucking around with photography in days when photographers spent hours in the darkroom with chemicals and strangers.
I use to spend a lot of weekends visiting my Auntie Alex who was studying history in Cambridge, it was a relief from depressing Norfolk and cars on the roads.
This photo I took of bicycles because Cambridge is a city of bikes and pollution and road tax free way of getting around. Even in the early 80's they had cycle lanes in Cambridge. It is mostly a student city so bikes are a cheaper way of transport.
Norwich has finally got a few cycle lanes but some are so small a mouse on a bike would be on it for seconds. I have been campaigning for bike lanes since I was a child and even got in the Irish times with a message on the front of my bike say One million miles to the galleon of water.
Ireland had very few cars when I was growing up so playing on the road was normal. When do was see children playing on the road now never no more.
When I was in Australia I joined the reclaim the streets campaign, which was great fun and exciting never knowing which street we were going to take over and we got there, we filled it with people, bikes of every type and children. Sometimes people carried soil in there panier's and planted flowers in the road. Sofas came out of peoples houses and onto the streets. Music was played and the roads were painted with slogans or flowers. Children were screaming with happiness, until the cops showed up on horseback in huge numbers with out there badges so they could get away with some random people bashing. Camera men stood on roofs waiting for some violent action. But it never happened.. but when I was in Dublin a few years later there was a reclaim the streets on a Sunday and I was on my way to the puppet theatre to work and I watched people drumming, dancing and having fun, then as I walked further down the street I saw police with bullet proof vests going in the back of shops to surprise the innocent protesters. I went to work and later heard the innocent protesters were bludgeoned to pieces by the cops and it turned into another bloody Sunday. With the amount of traffic in Dublin you think they would be pleased that people want less cars in the city.
The stupid 2nd world war started the world off with cars before that we were ok. Cars are all about war, every car is a bullet that people have died for or are going to die from either being polluted to death or an accident. There is lots of oil wars we don't even hear about that go on around the world. They usually celebrate there victory by naming a new model after the carnage.
People have s distorted view about having a car, when they finally get one they soon realise that it costs most of there wage packet to keep it in fuel and taxes and fines. I can understand maybe having a car if your a million miles away from the nearest shop. but when there is a shop on every corner whats the point.

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