The worst stereotypes of Clifton have been sensationally revealed in a new poem by local resident David C Johnson, which has been turned into moving images by Diana Taylor of Redcliffe Films and chosen for this month’s Berlin Zebra Film Festival, a festival showcasing poetry-films.
“Clifton people would generally be afraid of visiting Stapleton Road and walking around its shops,” opines David in today’s Post.
His poem, entitled Clifton to Easton, aims to contrast the difference between the two areas, using the Severn Beach Line as the linking point of the two communities.
Diana tells the Post of her initial fear of leaving her native Redland for Easton. “I have to admit, I’d felt a bit nervous about going down to Easton alone with a digital video camera and filming people. But when I went down there one weekend I was so warmly welcomed.”
If I had paid for the video, I would ask for my money back. But the film is no better than the GCSE English Literature style of the poem, with the easiest of cliches from ladies-who-lunch in the Clifton cafes to shops in multicultural Easton that sell prayer mats and prayer hats; and a disturbing reference to schoolgirls’ bras.
Here are a few lines from Clifton to Easton (click here for the unabridged poem), with the film below:
Who will join me on the diesel to Easton?
It won’t be the schoolgirls in Clifton High’s tartan,
With their push-up bras that have little to push…
Because when you alight at Stapleton Road
The language, the colour, the costumes, the smells
Welcome you into a country of countries,
As different from Clifton as fish is from fowl.
UPDATE: September 5, 2012. At 2.13 am this morning I received an email from Diana Taylor instructing me to remove the video from Bristol Culture. I refused. The video was subsequently removed from YouTube, before reappearing again later in the afternoon.