Fairfax Mansions, Revisted

evelina_mansions

Journal entry #317

November 2012

Looking back on the transformation of that quite ordinary Council housing block – the one that used to be known as Evelina Mansions – into that prime example of what people are now calling ‘weaponised architecture’, I can’t help but suspect that the perceived threat collectively beheld by the residents of this building is so exaggerated and disproportionate that only the most radical member of the group could have possibly maintained authority before it was too late. That somebody was Mrs Fairfax.

Mrs Fairfax, (after whom this improvised fortress was aptly re-named,) is herself something of a mystery; she is never to be seen and one wonders if she exists at all. There certainly was a Mrs Fairfax living in apartment 14b only recently; a well-known woman who was the Councillor for the local area, as well as being the head of several community action-groups in Camberwell and patron of the under-fourteens kickboxing academy around the corner. As I understand it, this woman seized control of the Residents’ Association about a month ago – a group which consisted of about four or five people who used to meet up every now and again to complain about off-street parking restrictions. Within a week of Mrs Fairfax’s election however, the meetings were on a twice-daily basis and mandatory for all residents. People were suddenly being drafted into work details and militia groups, and approaching the building was suddenly impossible due to the barricaded forecourt and the children standing on the balconies, hurling objects on people as they pass.

And even though you would always see Mrs Fairfax standing at her balcony in the afternoons, surveying the park, (in the room she commandeered from Mr Johnston after he was apparently exposed as a traitor,) she has been conspicuously absent the past fortnight – ever since the building was renamed after her, in fact. I have looked into her room with a long-focus lens from my hideout in the park, but I couldn’t see nothing in there. Nobody goes in or out of her room, and there is always a guard stationed outside. I can’t understand what happened to her. But all the same, they all go on as if she was still in charge.

CADE

View project: NEO LONDON

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