Byker & Today I'm With You DVD
Amber’s new DVD of BYKER and TODAY I'M WITH YOU.
BYKER ( Amber, 1983, 53 mins, colour)
She began to photograph the terraced streets and their inhabitants, her awareness of the impending wholesale demolition of the area lending urgency to her documentation.
drawing on Sirkka's photographs and interviews, on documentary footage and dramatic reconstructions,
In 2005, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen returned to the rebuilt Byker. The visionary Byker Wall Estate, designed by the architect
Ralph Erskine, was to have rehoused the original community intact, but inevitably didn't. In her occasionally chaotic portrait
sessions Sirkka invites the residents of the now multicultural estate to imagine their lives in 'just one picture',
hoping to create a 'virtue' community through her project. In the resulting book and exhibition, Byker Revisited, she
builds a collaborative portrait of the estate and the diverse communities who have come to share it.
Having arrived as a stranger in the original Byker, Sirkka finds herself drawn to the refugees,
mostly housed in the hard-to-let properties where the limitations of planned lifespan have become most visible,
Today I'm WIth You follows her journey, opening up on the richly complex, often transient and fragile nature of contemporary urban lives -
and the architecture that is part of the story.