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28 October 2014

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Superblock by Jeff Young
Stretching far into the clouds, 1470 floors high...

FACT Centre

19 March, 2.00pm - 3.00pm


audio Interview with tenant Jim Jones
audio Listen to a discussion set in 2020
audio Interview with writer Jeff Young
video Watch the video of the demolition of the Shiel Park tower block, Liverpool. This footage was shot by Karen Browne.
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What is Superblock?

The year is 2040, and Superblock is a 1,470 floor tower block built from the salvaged concrete and bricks of the 67 Liverpool high rises demolished in 2005.

It is an echo chamber reverberating with voices, memories, love, hate, birth, death, mystery, gossip and rumour, like a monstrous filing cabinet full of the filed lives of everyone who ever lived there.

It is the architects last ever visit to his broken utopia because this is the day the building is condemned...

How was Superblock developed?

Superblock was developed with tenants of the Liverpool high rises, FACT and the BBC. 1500 questionnaires have been sent to all the tenants and their extraordinary responses have fed directly into the drama.

Writer Jeff Young, the BBC's Kate Rowland and the tenants that inspired it will be in attendance at FACT on the 19th March, 2.00 - 3.00pm, to discuss the project. All are welcome to attend.

Listen to an interview with tenant Jim Jones, and with the writer of the drama, Jeff Young.

A radio project with the Liverpool-based Foundation of Art and Creative Technology [FACT] centred around the remaining 67 towerblocks in Liverpool. The majority of the 67 are earmarked for demolition in the near future.

Listen to a discussion set in the year 2020.

Watch the video of the demolition of the Shiel Park tower block, Liverpool. This footage was shot by Karen Browne.

Fantasy - or reality?

Says towerblock tenant Jim Jones, "Theres a tremendous degree of disempowerment which pervades society today. I think Superblock draws into focus the extent of that which would occur if it was left unchecked."

"I think the reality of Superblock is within issues being decided on behalf of people without their involvement, and without proper feedback on the effectiveness of those decisions taken. The fantasy attached to Superblock is not that much removed from reality."

"The concept of having a 14,000 floor building is probably the only piece of fantasy - but if that 1,400 floor building is broken into chunks and dotted around the city, then that's exactly what we have now."

Writer Jeff Young describes how consultations with existing residents, particularly the elderly, helped shape the final result:

"The same mistakes will be made"

"For me, working on Superblock over the last 12 months has meant that I’ve been able to tell a story in an unusual and imaginative way that is about very real lives and problems."

"What quite often happens is that people of that [older] generation are only asked to look to the past. And so what’s come out is a very strange and surreal piece of drama that actually tells stories about the real world; about things that are not that far removed from people’s experiences of living in tower blocks today."

"I don’t necessarily think that 40 years in the future things will be that different. We’re going to have a lot of the same problems because the same mistakes will be made."



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