When I see a tower block I always wonder who knows whom and how? Maybe the person living behind the third window on the second floor knows the inhabitants of the seventh window on the first floor really well – both have dogs or kids the same age, but they don’t get along with 2nd window 5th floor because of the noise his car makes in the morning … In short I would like to draw a map of relationships between the residents of one of these tower blocks. Plans and thoughts:_-I intend to photograph early mornings and in the evenings/night, leaving or returning times, that is when we are emotionally most involved with our families and homes._-Ideally I meet a family that agrees to participate. I would photograph them within their environment, get to know them, their friends within the estate and go from there. Pieces of the story:_-Photographing the lives of the inhabitants of a flat, the time they share, like meals, after school time, going to bed, getting up…_-I want to position my camera on time-lapse setting on their TV and record their evening without being present. Recording the time they spend in their flats separated by a wall but within the same building._-Documenting the relationships between the inhabitants while they meet in the stairway, local shop, on site café, at home, in meetings… Format:_-35mm and 2 photos 5-4 large format of the estate at daytime and night time.
It was a strange thing, coming up with ideas to document a community that lives relatively close but I don't actually know anything about, nor, at first glance, can really relate to. I have never lived in a house with more than 3 stories / 5 neighbours but I have lived for a long time in a house that was considered uninhabitable for Swiss people, too old, no heating except for a wood-fired stove, no warm water and a medieval sanitation system. It was a big house, rumoured to have been a monastery in the past, with a garden, two attics and three cellars plus a huge barn, a stable and a pen all occupied by the relevant animals. It was a great place to grow up. After 15 years this house was knocked down for commercial reasons, to make place for an ordinary three-family-terrace house. Not many people really understood why we were sad since the new houses were so much more convenient. When I think about this house, I see the wooden ceiling of my bedroom and the shapes the branch marks made, the view from the roof, the smell of fire in the morning. For my first project idea for the Elephant I drew from that memory and so I essentially want to photograph what the inhabitants of the Haygate Estate will miss once it is gone. I will be looking for people who have grown up in the estate or lived there for a long time. I will capture their memories on medium format, when, where and how they want to remember them. In addition I want to record their voices.