The Battle for Brooklyn doco premieres on Australian TV

July 10, 2012

For those people living in Australia, you now have an opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated (long list) feature length documentary The Battle for Brooklyn, which describes a lengthy redevelopment battle that took place in downtown Brooklyn.  I originally wrote about this film in a blog post last December.  The film premieres on Australian television on Sunday 15 July 2012 on ABC2 at 8.30pm.

In my most recent trip to the USA, I met Daniel Goldstein – effectively the star (and reluctant hero) of the doco and the story.  He gave me a tour of the areas of Brooklyn affected by the redevelopment.  Here are two photos which I took of Daniel near the new sports arena (sadly, now, under construction; they lost):

  

Here is a scene from one of the local streets, and another with the sports arena rising in the background:

  

And viewers in Perth have a special treat.  The Perth Film Festival actually screens this film this coming Friday, July 13th.  See it with an audience!

Touching, profound, personal, political.  Lest you think redevelopment battles died with Jane Jacobs (urban activist and author of one of the great books of my life, The Death and Life of American Cities) in the 1960s.  Jacobs, by the way, passed away in April 2006, just before her ninetieth birthday.

Goldstein lives, however, and a new generation of American urban activists takes heart from his brave and exhausting battle.

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In memory of Anne Dunn

July 3, 2012

Today brought the sad news the Dr Anne Dunn, formerly of ABC Radio and most recently a professor of media and journalism at the University of Sydney, has passed away.  Click here for the tribute at the University of Sydney website.

I knew Anne in two contexts:  I worked closely with her when we were both at the ABC, and then I came across her a number of times in her new academic role.  Anne is only one of three people I know who left the ABC to undertake an academic career, and the only other person (other than me) who completed her PhD in media post-ABC.  She was certainly the most successful former ABC staffer to work in the field of academia, probably in Australia’s history.  Anne became, although I don’t think she ever knew it, something of a role model and a beacon for me.  When Anne left the ABC, she first taught at Charles Sturt University at Bathurst, then the University of Western Sydney and finally made the move fully east to the University of Sydney.

Anne was a highly accomplished academic and a deep thinking media personality, generous with her ideas and a true leader.  At a crucial time of my career (in the late 1990s) post-ABC, she provided helpful and non-judgmental advice and ideas.

She leaves behind a devoted family and scores of friends and colleagues who all, like me, mourn her passing at much too young an age.