Obsession – Knowle West Community Centre Social Groups 1080p” on YouTube

A very short documentary video I produced on an ongoing project.


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Edits Developing Practice, Obsession. Knowle West


I edited my very large selection down to the above, however after presenting my presenting this edit my tutors it came to our attention  that I do not have enough coherent work to produce a series of prints, and to just work on the video.

My story board and final prints edited from the edit above are below in  PDF.







developing practice, Development practice progress, obsession

Obsession – Developing Practice Video Moving and Still images.For submission

My intention for this video is to represent the older generation in Knowle West, in an area and location that the events are held where I have family connections, Knowle West and the Community Centre are places where my roots of my family  have been from for several generations.

After speaking with the people that attend the Tea dance it is evident that this group is an important part of their lives, for so many reasons, all the elements that make this so important for them is for the social and physical aspects, as well as to get out from their homes, where they become invisilble which results to loneliness and in some cases depression.

The people that attend this group range from eighty years upwards, they are an inspiration to the next generation.  Unfotunately sequence and Waltz style of dancing is dying off, due to no one learnig or practicing this kind of dancing anymore, whcih is a shame.

When I was a child from the age of four year I began ballroom dancing, and I really enjoy this style of dance.  I had a dancing partner who was in the Second World War and every festive season we would have a dance or two together, unfortunately he passed away last year he was my hero for so many reasons.

This generation are my inspiration, they have so much to tell us and are full of interesting information, many have achieved so many amazing things along their journey in life.

When the Tea dance first started there were around one hundred peopele that attended about twenty years ago (approx) now you can them on your hand, it is a shame such a long lived dance is almost at an end.

My other just as important factor for  my video is the ambient light, where I demonstrate creatively through my imagery the way the light flows, it catcches my subjects in an effective, beautiful and dramatic way, as well as the dance floor where it flows across  creating a spot light effect, where the subjects dance on and around this natural ambient light.

The room where both the Tea dance and Friendship group are held have very long windows each side of the hall, so there is always some form or amazing natural light source for me to work with.

Friendship group: this is a very large group with varied ages that attend to play bingo, there are also people who have specific needs. There are many positive factors with this group such as the mentally stimilating aspects and social interaction which this group offers.  It gets people out from their homes and is an important part of all of their lives.







Knowle West Community groups

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Developing Practice, Obsession-Story board.

My thoughts on the video were going to be of landscapes around knowle West and the housing estates, this would also incorporate portraits and one or both of the Community groups that I am currently photographing.  However once I presented my draft during my presentation in front of my peers and tutors it was agreed it would be best to just use the two groups for the video.  Below is my first draft which can also be seen in the presentation which is also on a blog post.knowle-west-presentation-1knowle-west-presentation-2


My second idea is below:



Final edit-below on three story boards covering the video from start on page one to the end on page 3.






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Risk Assessment: Obsession, Tea Dance and Friendship Group

For each shoot, it is important to scout the location beforehand, then to produce a carefully thought out risk assessment form. Below is a risk assessment I produced for each of my shoots, the form is the same simply because the location is the same.  In both groups people are walking or dancing around the dance floor. It is important that I keep my attention on what is going on around me at all times, and to inform the group that I am using a tripod and to keep the walk way clear at all times, so the people do not need to pass me at any time.  I stay with my equipment at all times and any equipment I am not using is stored in my bag in another room underneath a bench, so there is no hazards.



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Research – Elaine Constantine Obsession, Developing Practice

The film Northern Soul is based on the 1970’s when it was the music of the era,  this type of music was influenced by American Motown music from back in the 50’s.

Northern Sole can be summed up as people expressing themselves by dance and their  clothes such as the flairs and large flowing skirts.

The film Northern Sole was Based up in the North, and the film used none actors, originally it was going to be a small film,  with only a few places for viewing, however it soon became popular and everyone was talking about it, the film was shown in one hundred and twenty cinemas nation wide.

Constantine worked on this project for seven years, in order for her to finance this film she had to re mortgage her home.  Lisa Stansfield who is also from the Northern part of England played the mother in this film.  It seems by listening to coverage on breakfast TV and you tube clips that everyone enjoyed their role in producing the Northern Soul, and Dave Stubs said being an extra in this film was ‘magical’

I went to a moving stills podium : Photographers’ films symposium in April of this year. Constantine spoke about her work on the film she produced called the Northern Soul, which is about youth culture.  Some parts such as the way the teacher and pupils speak to one another, including the  pupils rebellious attitude, reminds me of Grange hill.


Screen shots below from the trailer of the Northern Sole

There seems to be influences not only from Motown , for example some of the dancing scenes’ are a combination of resemblances for me anyway, from the film Greece and dirty dancing, for the way the dancing is filmed, where the camera focuses on the feet,  skirts flowing as the girls spin around and how the girls wear socks with their shoes.as well as the Birdseye footage on the dance floor, also some of the dance moves the boys do.

Screen shots below from some scenes from you tube,  all links below.

Not very clear, picture below of girl twirling and her skirt is up in the air as she moves around, so does her skirt.













While I was watching this documentary I noticed how the light was coming through the windows at both sides, thus spilling out over the dance floor and over the people dancing on the dance floor, this is the perfect representation of my idea and my final aim for my photographic creative work.


The urban open space in the film is very much like Knowle West, with graffiti and the green open landscape. The trailer shows how there has been fly tipping.

Screen shots below from the Northern Sole trailer on you tube.


Some places not just in Knowle West have fly tipping waste, such as the mattresses shown on the footage of Northern Soul. This is not unusual, however there is open landscape which covers all around Knowle West and covers the outskirts of Bedminster which  is picturesque as well as having rubbish littered in some parts.  unfortunately Knowle West is recorded in the media as a run down problematic area, this is not entirely true.  The media give the place and youths a bad reputation. Constantine’s film represents a deprived area and youth culture in a rather cliche approach, for example the way the youths speak, and the dialect.  This film emphasises a stereo typical attitude towards others and life in general along with stereo typical teenage mannerisms.  One might argue that this in reality a minority of youths today, and that the film focused on a typical class.

Like all cities and urban areas, there are good and bad parts, with certain areas that are less desirable.

The community spirit in Knowle West is second to none, I have learnt this by listening and talking with the community and residents.  They welcome you with open arms and are interested to hear your story.  They encourage positive things in the area and are more than happy for me to document there and to share my experiences in Knowle West.

My family  as far back as great, great, great, grandparents’ were from Knowle West and I feel like I am at home when I am there.

The youths in Knowle West are friendly, helpful and I have not yet come across any problems with the youths in that area.

I am in the process of creating a short video on Knowle West, I will be including video footage as well as stills, images from my series.  My focus will be on the older generation rather than the youth for this part of my project.  I will be creating my work on a tea dance where they dance waltz dancing.  They range from late seventies to early nineties in age.  Image below from my project.



The link for the Trailer from the film Northern Soul below.





Some photographs from my project on Knowle West below.