Building a visual history of Hamilton House from 2008 to the present
Imagine for a moment, if you will, that it’s the year 2047. The city of Bristol has been decimated by a zombie apocalypse. Only rats live here now, giant ones, scurrying merrily in between the only relics of human civilisation: ancient, rusting cans of cider and laughing gas canisters. Having munched on the brains of 97 per cent of the human population, even the zombies have moved on, most of them heading en masse down the M5 to feast on the citizens of Birmingham.
A scraggly band of human survivors are camped out in Leigh Woods, subsisting on leaves, berries, and scavenged tins of genetically-modified macaroni cheese looted from Morrisons. A tiny cohort of them make their way back into the city and stumble along the gutted remains of what was once Stokes Croft. During a rain storm they take shelter in the husk of a building whose rusted sign reads ‘Ham n ouse’.
Almost everything inside has been destroyed save for one: a dusty folder full of posters covered with strange, indecipherable symbols. Most of the humans have forgotten how to read, but if they could, they would discover messages like “Coexist presents a night of live drum n bass, 8pm til late!!!” The survivors sit in a huddle on the floor, passing the posters back and forth, trying to imagine what kind of creatures created these and what their lives were like…
Actually, it’s still 2016, and this isn’t just a tripped-out recollection of an average night out in Bristol, but rather, a hallucination caused by sitting in the office too long during a rare day of sunshine.
One bit of it is true though: we did find a bunch of old posters, flyers, random scribbled notes, menus, and newspaper cuttings. All of these help to tell part of the story of Coexist: how it came to be, the changes that have happened in the building, and the changes that have happened in the surrounding area.
We thought it might be a good idea to do something with all this stuff, just in case a zombie apocalypse does happen, so that any surviving humans remember that we were here.
During the coming months, we’re going to be putting together a ‘Coexist Scrapbook’, a timeline of some of the events, talks, workshops and gigs that have taken place here over the years. We might be looking for contributions from those who remember those days, so stay tuned…