Eels on Wheel – Footage clips

The work is about the vanishing of public space and the increase of slippery corporate investment into our cities and suburbs. The city “Birmingham” ordinates from the word “Beorma” a 7th century Anglo Saxon name for the original settlers. Beorma sounds and looks a bit like “Bermuda” and also makes up a new quarter in the city, a quarter being funded by foreign investments. In September 2016, an eel, native to the tropical Bermuda seas, was found in the Birmingham canal network, (Birmingham Mail – local news). The 20 year old specimen got trapped in the city, having originally swam over 3,500mile from Bermuda to the River Severn to spawn. This rare find was delightful, but also concerning, as the eel would still be considerable distress each year as its internal body motions tell is to migrate back to Bermuda. The Eel was found close the canal network surrounding Brindley Place in. Birmingham. Brindley Place was developed by property tycoons in the 1990’s and is an example of the rising trend of privately owned pseudo public spaces. Unnatural, and privately monitored. These spaces can trap citizens into loop cycles of financial and physical stress, the flats we live in, the spaces we walk. There is also a place called “Bermuda” in Nuneaton, Bermuda Park. This is 21.5 miles away from Brindley place (strangely the same length of Bermuda Island, 21.7miles). Bermuda Park is a private landscaped development of industrial units, tiny leasehold apartments, cheap hotels, strange suburban lawns, trees and a gravel pit lake, the kind that appear seemingly over night. This place is like Brindley place, but a suburban version of it. I plan to walk the “eel on wheels” from Brindley to Bermuda, over a period of two days, with a number of stops along the way. At each stop I will call out (with a megaphone) publicly available financial and linkedin information about companies and company directors who have shares in Birmingham and its suburbs, and most importantly finances that are being held in offshore tropical/ Bermuda accounts.

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