Celebration (Cyprus Street), 2010, 35mm Film Transferred to HD, 10'20"

‘Celebration (Cyprus Street)’ is based on the rich history of public street parties in London’s East End. Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, and developed in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, the film draws inspiration from the tradition of group portraiture in historic newsreel footage and photographs recording these events. Filmed as a 35mm tracking shot that pivots on a central, durational group portrait, the piece investigates the relation between still and moving images, between photography and film. To make ‘Celebration’, Manchot worked with the residents of Cyprus Street in Bethnal Green over a period of six months, collaborating on preparations for the party and inviting active participation in the film. The work engages with the East End as a point of arrival to the capital and to Britain. It acknowledges the waves of migration passing through East London over the last centuries and articulates the current make-up of streets as complex multicultural units. Manchot spent two years developing the project, undertaking archive and oral history research on street parties and their representations.