Tag Archives: mural

film screening

Hi everyone. If you are in London, come down to the Hackney Attic on August 28 at 7.30 pm. TAKING OVER THE KING’S LAND is screening at the Hackney Attic Film Festival alongside several other fine films in the Documentary Shorts programme. It will be a great evening! Best of all, it’s FREE!


Tickets bookable here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1256360871050516/

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TAKING OVER THE KING’S LAND is now Officially Released

The street art documentary I made is now available to view online.


TAKING OVER THE KING’S LAND is now Officially Released online for free viewing. Go to http://film.kingslandmural.co.uk
Please share freely.


 “In a forgotten corner of East London, in the shadow of the Olympic site,  artist Nazir Tanbouli is battling weather, vandalism and lack of funds, to create a massive mural installation throughout a condemned housing estate.”

After doing the rounds of the festival circuit including Sheffield Docfest and Portobello Festival in London, as well as screenings all over the place as far afield as Hungary and Egypt, it’s time to make the film more widely available since the fact is not that many people actually go to film festivals 🙂

More info, including full crew list and lots of material about the film as well as my still photography,  is at http://kingslandmural.co.uk/

chld-02 estate-01

dual-wall rain2 wetwall

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Strength in decay

In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.
Ernst Fischer (Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art: A Marxist Approach)

“The things of mortals, mortal are as they: All pass us by, quickly to fade away, If not, we pass by them and they decay.”
Lucian, Syrian writer, circa 150AD

ALLOWING the work to decay was Nazir Tanbouli’s choice as he announced the end of the King’s Land project. Initially the idea was to keep making murals until the building was hoarded and demolished. However several things intervened to change this plan.

Firstly, the building work was put back and put back. This meant that the mural making could have gone on until October or even November. By which time any impact would have been lost, if the artist was even still interested.

Second, the weather this year has been unprecedentedly wet. As the project was based on the idea of paste up changing murals, there were just too many days of soaking rain when no work was done, or murals melting and dying before their time. 2012 is the wettest  year even in British history. No other year has been recorded this wet. Ever. And it’s Britain., That tells you how wet it its. It became a Sisyphus task of putting and reputting. That might have been interesting in itself but it was not the aim of the project.

Lastly and most importantly, Tanbouli wanted to make an impact and with The King’s Land he did. He also wanted to make something for the place, and as some of the murals are indeed painted, there is a good selection of murals that will stay until the building is torn down. He also wanted to make a point about decay: that this is an estate that has been left to decay for a long time by the powers that be – lives blighted, neighbourhood made ugly and embarrassing. The murals were not meant to hide that. Now the murals play their part in making a comment about urban environments and the politics of decay. Had it not rained so much, the murals might have lasted the summer. But let Nature do what it does, and let the artist do what he does.

Tanbouli finished the project by holding a big party and declaring the murals “open to view for as long as they last.”


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mural destruction 2

Just got back from the studio. I saw the mural; Naz already started fixing it, the rain has stopped. It was actually great since I got the first really useful excellent interview to camera from him since I started filming this.

I also talked to the neighbours, who love the mural.


BTW the project is live on @studio75London on twitter. We both tweet. A dual headed art hydra.

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Some SOB trashed Naz’s mural this morning, when it was p1551ng rain and nobody was about. The mural didn’t completely dry overnight due to the rain (this IS England) and so it was more easily wrecked – if one was malevolent enough to want to do that.  It’s so sad. How hard Naz and his assistants Rita and Dree worked. How much they love doing it and how much of their devotion and love of art went into it. All to be trashed by some selfish rage-fuelled self-defeating loser.

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it was freezing, but

I went and shot photos and video of Nazir and his assistants putting up the second of the murals. I was there 30 mins they were there all day!

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the King’s Land

The King’s Land is the title of a new film I am making – official start day was today – as well as the title of  an art project (though that may change) and a housing estate in east London.

Built in the period right after WW2 it was a part of that hopeful movement that believed the giving people decent homes, jobs and pride would make a better world. The estate was completed in time for Queen ElizabethII’s coronation in 1952.

But lack of belief in those same postwar values led to a decline in the standards as the estates were not maintained by the public authority paid to do so. Now, 60 years after completion, the estate is due to come down.

However not before the place is transformed by a giant multisite mural. The brainchild of painter and muralist Nazir Tanbouli, the project is THE KING’S LAND and over the next few months Tanbouli will cover the site with hand drawn murals.

Examples of Naz’s work:


My job is to make a film of it all.  Let’s see what happens.

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