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Iain Sinclair & The Culture Detectives

June 13, 2011

Cult London author Iain Sinclair is on Start the Week today, pouring scorn on the Olympics and their effects on East London. In 2008 he was allegedly banned by Hackney Council from airing these views in one of their libraries. I was riding to work when it was on, so I’ll have to catch it later, but I googled around for the poem that I think he has written about the Olympics (the pretext for him being on the programme I think) but what I found, although beautiful, was too explicit to post for young eyes. This slideshow gives you a clean three minute precis of where he’s coming from. Sinclair’s work is a critique of the connection between the Olympics regeneration programme and the culture of East London. This is essentially the same connection that Nimblefish have been exploring (albeit less polemically) in their cultural detectives work.

The Cultural Olympiad is a key element of the London 2012 Olympics. But how can young people make sense of ‘culture’ in their own lives? As Culture Detectives, pupils will use a variety of creative tools to find ‘clues’ that link their culture to that of the world of the Olympics. 

This programme is an enquiry into culture: how it is defined, why it is important, and how it connects one set of individuals to others, both in the UK and around the world. We will invite the teachers and students to ‘co-author’ these definitions, and the results will inform and shape our ‘sleuthing’ activities.

Although Sinclair clearly hates the Olympics, I can’t see him disapproving of this. In fact, why would anyone? It’s amazing.

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