August 1st. That was the day I began working on pulling together my ethnography. I took 6 1/2 months to pull together my fieldwork. By anthropology’s standards, I guess it is not bad but if this was simply a documentary I would have shot myself in the foot.
So, the good news is that this past weekend, two new friends took me to four mysterious abandoned places in Gillingham, Kent. Vanishing Days and Solar Powered we extremely generous, articulate and helpful, driving me back and forth from Napoleonic-era stone forts to World War II gun turrets to an equestrian center abandoned in 1986. It was a surreal day (as it usually is behind the camera) with this added affectation that desolate places tend to have.
I also find, the more that I explore, is that the more intact a place is, and the more recently is was abandoned, the more eerie it is. Perhaps it is easier to connect with the history of those places when you imagine the people who lived their still roaming the earth and reminiscing about the places that you are watching sink into the earth for some future archaeologist to uncover.
This weekend I will be headed to an abandoned asylum with my second group of informants. More to come.
Now back to editing these three hours of derelict beauty!