The way Poplar Harca have mismanaged the decant of Balfron Tower has been phenomenal. They have treated people like dirt, whether leaseholder, tenant, artist or property guardian.
There are still residents and leaseholders living in Balfron Tower who are fighting for their homes, and there are former residents and leaseholders that want to return to their homes, as they were promised they could do, only to later discover that they were lied to.
At least Secret Cinema acknowledge the level of fear they are likely to create amongst embattled residents
The long drawn out and mismanaged decant of Balfron Tower has been a painful event for a community being ripped apart by greedy Poplar Harca. Their incessant social cleansing only exacerbated by their co-optation of creative people to collaborate on their PR offensive.
We think that the forthcoming Secret Cinema performance of 28 Days Later at Balfron Tower is distasteful and inappropriate. There is little surprise that they decided to keep this location secret. This collaboration with Poplar Harca in Balfron Tower only furthers an aggressive social cleansing agenda that is destroying our communities, particularly whilst embattled residents continue to fight for their homes.
Tickets for the Secret Cinema event at Balfron Tower are priced at a shocking £65 each, making a £4 bowl of cereal seem almost reasonable. The event is anticipated to run for a 6-week period from mid-April. No doubt there will be zombies etc. running around the building, disturbing residents, occupying busy lifts, temporarily repurposing empty flats, many that have been ‘void’ for years and some of which were specifically made vacant for spectacles such as this.
Meanwhile, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is housing desperate families in B&B’s and in temporary accommodation on Harca estates earmarked for future development, whilst turfing many more out onto the street. First they dismantled the social housing, now it is being rapidly passed into the hands of private property developers. Meanwhile, the housing crisis rages unabated.
Rage. But whose?
Balfron Social Club continues to fight for a minimum of 50% social housing to be retained in Balfron Tower post-refurbishment. Despite promises of no loss of social housing, Harca currently propose 0%; a wholesale land grab.
Balfron Social Club calls on Secret Cinema to kindly address the inappropriateness of the situation forthwith.
Balfron Social Club
16 March 2016
On 16 March Secret Cinema responded:
Hope you’re well?
I work for Secret Cinema on our 28 Days Later project. I’ve just seen the open letter about Balfron Tower and the concerns among residents.
I just wanted to re-assure you that we’re not using Balfron Tower for our event and we are not working with Poplar Harca, it’s being staged in a different (non-residential) London location. We’ve used images of the tower because it’s a prominent part of the original film, not because it’s the location for our event.
I’m really sorry if our images have caused anger amongst the residents / former residents of the tower, that certainly wasn’t our intention.
If you have any questions feel free to give me a ring / get back to me on my email.
Thank you for the clarification.