It is sometime around 2010. A young man walks along the waterways of East London as the superstructures of Olympic construction loom above. He is a photographer. As he carefully prepares his shot he is drawn through the camera into a surreal post-2012 landscape where an ad-hoc community has grown around the water spawning a new localism fed on a steady diet of jellied eels.
The Reality Obscurer deconstructs the images, characters and folklore of the Lower Lea Valley and re-assembles them to form an audio-visual collage, an idiosyncratic world of brick, tin, waterways, industry, allotments, art, theatre and the omnipotent eel that is both otherworldly and familiar. This pluralistic landscape of fragments is superimposed onto the half-constructed shells of the Olympic site, forming a juxtaposition between the global character of the games and the local identity of the landscape. Contained within this world are self-sufficient communities that fuse housing, industry and agriculture densely arranged around the local waterways. The migration and diaspora that has driven the development of the East End for 300 years continues to shape the environment as the ebb and flow of different people, industries and communities leave their trace to form a richly textured urban landscape. The film presents an alternative vision for the Lower Lea Valley, one that embraces the positives of chaos and locality over top-down homogeneity and order.
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