The Lower Lea Valley as Fun Palace and Creative Prison (some updates)

Below I have collected an assorted continuum of analysis and protest against displacement caused by the London 2012 Olympics running from 2008 to 2014 linking to essays and publications by others and myself


The Lower Lea Valley as Fun Palace and Creative Prison (2008) A Pamphlet By Anthony Iles


Download a PDF of this pamphlet. It was lost and recently recovered via Hackney Museum’s webpages. Thanks!

Other versions of the same research

Fun Palace – Tinag book – by Anthony Iles

Legislating for Enthusiasm_ from Fun Palace to Creative Prison – by Anthony Iles

The Regeneration Games, Pre-Olympic Displacement

The Regeneration Games

By Mark Saunders

On Logistics and the London Olympics

What greatness had not floated on the ebb of that river
By Anthony Iles
London’s relationship to water and to the sea remains central to its role in the global
economy and vital to a gamble in which the Olympics is a part, argues Anthony Iles.
On the connections between shipping, logistics and the hi-speed, only apparently
immaterial world of finance

Article | PDF

Arcelor Mittal Orbit A Memorial in Exile

By Forensic Architecture

Opening Ceremony Arcadian Acrimony

Artist, Lee Merrill Sendall's submission to Artists Taking the Lead competition, 2009

Artist, Lee Merrill Sendall’s submission to Artists Taking the Lead competition, 2009

Danny Boyle's Olympic Opening Ceremony (2012)

Danny Boyle’s Olympic Opening Ceremony (2012)

Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, undated

Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, undated

Danny Boyle accused of plagiarism for Olympic opening ceremony

Danny Boyle’s Olympic Minstrel Show By Dave Zirin via Edge of Sports

A Park or a Scar?

in the projections for the new Olympic site of the games and in legacy mode […] we have a harmonious managed nature, organised and safe exercise, communication technologies – mobile phones, water, the Docklands and city – centre of the international financial flows. These images are also characterised by a multiculturalism peculiar to government planners – the dream image of difference without conflict and most importantly without work or workers – no one who has actually built or contributes to the running or servicing of this place appears in these visions.

2006-legacy-olympic-master-plans-1024x835Park Management

The London Legacy Development Corporation was created in 2012 and has the responsibility for looking after the development of buildings and outdoor spaces in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It is a Mayoral Development Corporation directly accountable to Londoners through the Mayor of London. As part of this remit, they act as the planning authority for this area, carrying out all of the planning functions that a local planning authority would normally have responsibility for, such as approving or rejecting new developments, giving guidance to local developers, and making high level plans for development in the area. ‘We work closely with a number of organisations including the Mayor of London, the Greater London Authority, central government, the east London Host Boroughs, residents in neighbouring local communities, local organisations, businesses and regeneration agencies and national and international sporting, cultural and leisure organisations.’

Priority themes:

Promoting convergence and community participation

Convergence is the process of closing the gap in performance and prospects between the wealthiest and the poorest communities. For the goal of convergence to be achieved, the legacy of the London 2012 Games needs to be as accessible as possible for local people. This means ensuring that development plans for the Park are created with participation from local residents. Economic opportunities should be accessible to local people, businesses and social enterprises, and  sporting, cultural and leisure facilities and events in the Park should be used and enjoyed by local people at all income levels.

Championing equalities and inclusion

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park lies in one of the most diverse areas of the UK. In addition to its statutory duties, the Legacy Corporation needs to take this diversity into account in order to attract the best talent, to understand how its decisions impact on different communities and groups, and to create and manage community-focused parklands, venues, homes, events, and commercial and retail opportunities.

Ensuring high quality design

Architectural, urban and landscape design will be essential elements for creating places within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and the wider Legacy Corporation area, that are engaging, safe, usable and beautiful, and which create and maintain value over the long term.

Ensuring environmental sustainability


Did you know that London’s newest public park is actually private property?

No Ordinary Park has Extraordinary Rules


East Village, formerly Athletes’ Village

East Village N15 Residential

A joint venture has purchased the athlete’s village on the Olympic park in east London. Delancey (Delancey, a real estate developer in the United Kingdom)/Qatari Diar (a sovereign wealth enterprise of the Qatar Investment Authority), paid £557 million for the East Village site,[2] representing an estimated £275 million loss to the ODA and hence the British taxpayer.[14] The majority of the 1,439 private homes are to be let on a rental basis, instead of being sold, with the ownership remaining with Delancey/Qatari Diar. This will create the first UK private sector residential fund of over 1,000 homes to be owned and directly managed as an investment. East Village also contains Chobham Academy, home to an education campus comprising: a nursery, primary and secondary schools, an adult learning facility; a community arts complex. A health centre for residents of East Village and the surrounding areas is also being constructed.A One bedroom apartment -Vesta House, Liberty Bridge Road, London E20 furnished £355 pw. ‘Affordable homes’ are for sale from £600,000.

Other resources and updates on the post-Olympic post-austerity lows

Carpenter's Estate Boundary

Carpenter’s Estate Boundary

The Carpenter’s Estate Pre- and Post-Olympic Displacement

Bloomsbury Olympic

By Richard B.

Post-Olympics Displacement

by Cristiana Strava

Peter Dunn
Daniel Glaessl
Cecilia Magnusson

Focus E15 young mothers occupation (October 2014)

Recent occupation on the Carpenter’s Estate (October 2014)

Focus_E15-Crowd Focus-E15

The ‘Fun Palace’ Revisited and Revised

Joan Littlewood’s ‘Fun Palace’ idea realised 50 years on


About anti

Anthony Iles is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. A founder member of the Full Unemployment Cinema. A contributing editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005. He is the author, with Josephine Berry-Slater, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: writing and crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product. Recent essays have been published in Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.
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