Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Roundabout



Colin Sackett's Uniformagazine is a pamphlet-sized quarterly, published in the UK, that ranges eclectically over various themes, but especially the intersections of landscape, human activity, and memory. Most of its contributors are unknown to me. In issue No. 3, published in Spring–Summer 2015, Ian Waites revisits the publicly funded council estate where he grew up, finding a zone that has been deregulated and privatized to the point that it is no longer the center of anything that might be called a community:
I went back to the estate to photograph my playground only to find that it had all gone. The slide, the swings and the roundabout had all been removed, leaving behind a set of modern yet suddenly ancient earthworks: concentric circles of grass, concrete and disintegrating synthetic playsurfacing. Once there were roundabouts, and children who were given the chance to play in a changed society that valued social democracy, progress and community. But now all we are left with are archaeological traces of a future that was never quite allowed to come off, and which only I seem to notice. These earthworks act like conduits in space and time, carrying me back to my childhood, and to this estate as it was in its hey-day.
Ian Waites, "Once there were roundabouts," Uniformagazine No. 3.

Uniformbooks has published Waites's related book, Middlefield: A postwar council estate in time.