Centre for Creative Media Research > Video Critical

Burley St. Matthias Primary School:
Photographs and description of the video

The edited video (13 minutes 7 seconds):

Titles: Shots of people and cars going about their business in Burley on a sunny day in March, as seen from school windows.

We cut to the group, standing in a Burley street. Aaron: 'This is our video about Burley, and its environment'.

Rebecca and Natalie show us what used to be 'a nice corner of the green area, but now it's a rubbish dump'. Sam shows us a bench which has been vandalised and 'has graffiti all over it. [...] It makes the whole area look completely disgusting, when there's writing and graffiti all over benches'.

Natalie paddles around the school field, which due to a bad design, she explains, is always waterlogged. Then, to music, we move on to Burley village green. Aaron is standing by the edge of the green, which is covered in litter and waste paper. 'Here is just some of the rubbish that is put everywhere. I don't think people should be allowed just to dump rubbish anywhere. I think the police should, er, give tougher action'.

To music, we see cars pour past the school as the children wait to cross the busy road to Burley Park, which we then see some scenes of. We cut to Sam and an elderly woman who is passing through the park. Sam asks her what she thinks of Burley Park. 'I think it's a very good park, for everybody really. A lot of people come here with their dogs, well I do actually, and other people play tennis or cricket or football, so it's a good park really. [...] I like to go round by the gardens and see the flowers'.

Tom shows us the bowling green, where people are playing. Then we go to Aaron in the rose garden: 'People come here on nice hot summer's days like this to sit and read, or just to listen to the sound of the birds'.

Sam interviews a man about the park; Aaron interviews two other men on a bench about it; and Richard Mc sits with a woman to discuss it. All of them seem to like the park, with its relative quiet, its greenery, flowers, and open spaces.

Aaron expresses frustration about rubbish dumped by the scout hut. We then see shots of the children playing in the park, followed by views over Burley from a hill opposite the school. Natalie and Rebecca read their poem about the pollution and the environment, which suggests, 'Stop killing the environment, it's done nothing to you,' and concludes, 'Save the environment now, it's up to you'. Then Sam reads his poem, which encourages people to walk rather than drive cars.

Sam, by a stretch of river: 'This is the River Aire. It's not exactly the cleanest river in the world, but this is it: the river that runs through Leeds'. Then we go to Aaron, by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal: 'This is one of the nice parts of Burley Canal. It has just been cleaned out recently. But in the other parts of the canal there are a lot of dirty places where people are just chucking their rubbish in'.

In the classroom, Sam asks Natalie, 'What do you think of the general environment in Burley?'. 'Well, it's got quite a lot of greenery, but [...] it's got too many cars really'. Natalie asks Rebecca, 'What do you like about the canal?'. Rebecca: 'Well, not a lot really. One, it's smelly, two, there's dead fish in it, and three, there's a lot of unpleasant people hanging round'. Natalie: 'What do you think about the amount of rubbish in the city?'. Rebecca: 'I think it's disgraceful really. There's bins around; people should put their rubbish in the bins'. Natalie: 'Do you ever walk down by the canal by yourself?' Rebecca: 'No, I never do anyway, it's too dangerous. [Why?] There's lots of people hanging round who could rob you, or things like that'.

Natalie, seated in the classroom: 'It's disgraceful the amount of rubbish that people drop. There's litter bins for people to put it in, so they shouldn't go dumping it, and even if they couldn't find a litter bin, they should put it in pockets till they got home and then put it in a rubbish bin'.

Aaron reads us his (unmailed) letter, in angry mode: 'To Leeds City Council, get off your hinds and do something about the environment. You're the ones with the cash, so go and do something about it before it's too late. Yours sincerely, Mr A. Smith. P.S. - No offence'.

End titles - shots of the children, as named, around and about in Burley, plus other shots of the children, the area, and daffodils.

The text and images on this site are by David Gauntlett, © 1997, 2004.
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