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Post Barnsley

Squint/Opera

If you want to understand this master plan, then you should listen to the postman's narration.


"Post Barnsley" is an original example of a video conceived as a device to explain an overall master plan to a wider audience of citizens and dwellers.

This video is part of a three-clip series made by Squint/Opera to present Alsop Architects' plans for the city of Barnsley (Yorkshire, UK) to the inhabitants and involve them directly in the process of visioning. The participatory urban planning in this video is not just about a "box ticking" process: the short film intends to provoke a real feedback and a reaction in the inhabitants of Barnsley, as well as a genuine debate about Alsop’s visionary design.

The choice of the traditional and reassuring character, a postman, as the protagonist of the overall narration is one of the brilliant ideas of Squint/Opera in order to introduce at best the audience to Alsop's futuristic vision and sci-fi imagery. Likewise, the approach to the 2025 Barnsley is gradual: the postman goes through a traditional Yorkshire countryside before he gets to the walled town.

The film is set to a poem read by Ian McMillan: the description is entirely assigned to the spoken word rather than to the images, which - for the first time in a visual narration - are only glimpsed, blurry and burned. This is, according to our point of view, its most original value, very well developed in this video.

Authors icon Credits

Mentioned project: Barnsley Masterplan
Project location: Barnsley, United Kingdom

United Kingdom 2003
Duration: 8'02''

First selected for INTIMACY, the 2003 edition of BEYOND MEDIA Festival organized by Image.