Robots of Brixton / "The 1981 South London riots but through the eyes of robots some 70 years later" [short]
This rich, conceptual animation from architectural student Kibwe Tavares reimagines the 1981 riots in the Brixton neighborhood of South London, but through the eyes of robots some 70 years later. The film reminded me of a documentary by the Black Audio Film Collective, Handsworth Songs, that also uses archival news footage from the riots to paint an image of struggle, memory and conflict in Britain in the 80s in Afro-Caribbean communities.
Brixton has degenerated into a disregarded area inhabited by London's new robot workforce - robots built and designed to carry out all of the tasks which humans are no longer inclined to do. The mechanical population of Brixton has rocketed, resulting in unplanned, cheap and quick additions to the skyline.
The film follows the trials and tribulations of young robots surviving at the sharp end of inner city life, living the predictable existence of a populous hemmed in by poverty, disillusionment and mass unemployment. When the Police invade the one space which the robots can call their own, the fierce and strained relationship between the two sides explodes into an outbreak of violence echoing that of 1981.