It is sweeter to wander with the wretched and outcasts than to sit crowned with roses at the banquets of the rich
Elisee Reclus

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


 Throw away the middle classes
Throw away your seeing glasses
And all go home
 Throw away your great disasters
Cut away the rafters
Throw away your father's ashes
Throw away your greener grasses
And all go home
 Throw away your homes and gardens
Throw away your hearts and minds
And all go home


Monday, January 06, 2014

Brixton Christmassacre

The Ruinist in their everyday travels often saunters gaily or slithers melancholicly down Barnwell Rd in Brixton SW9 on their way to no-one knows. In a kind of sick and obsessive fascination or morbid compulsive curiousity, The Ruinist observes the latest domestic knick kancks of style that come and go on the road. Once a road of much more proletarian-done-well terraced residences in neat and functional 'workers cottages' (some might say), Barnwell Rd has become over the last 20 years one the best views of gentrif(r)ied Brixton at it's most Yuk! The Ruinist oft refers to such roads in Brixton as 'The Colonies' as here is the gentrifrying colonising class in action.

Here follows a Christmas Photo Essay of one thing that could in fact be of another thing. Today The Ruinist observed on their usual rat race run through the place, an excessive number of dumped Xmas trees forlorn and no longer upholding 100% use-value. There were 13 evicted Xmas trees strewn along the road without a care to say 'We had one and now we don't and here it is!'. Instead, the tree, formerly alive before the Xmas chop, is now on its way to an early grave in the landfill. No longer Harking the Herald Angels. No longer the Season to be Jolly. Good King Wenceslas was no longer Looking Out. Not even to be chipped and re-integrate into bourgeois styles of overly-pruned rounded petite tree in glazed ceramic pot surrounding by grey granite slabs and grey chipped stones and wood chips straight outta TV aspirational reality gardening programmes. Zero maintenance.

The other thing this could be is a study of The Ruinist's much hated conspicuous overconsumption displays of stuff, of 'things', of too much. Nestled in the pictures are the very common Barnwell Rd feature, the front garden storage metal shed (not cheap! £300 to £400) or plain common wooden shed (very neat). Having bought your £600,000 three bedroom flat in New Brixton, you would need more storage space because you have TOO MUCH STUFF.

As some Surrealists had said before:

 'Having been found injurious to the human spirit these buildings have been condemned'


Monday, December 02, 2013

The Most Boring Playground So Far

The Ruinist continues their drifts from playground to playground. Although The Ruinst appreciates the tough infill site this scheme nestles in, this one completed earlier in 2013 in Mouraria, Lisbon with play furniture made in Finland wins the Homelesshome award of the most boring playground found so far. More soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Five photos found in a bin in Tulse Hill - Janauary 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Countryside Alliance HQ,  The Old Town Hall  367 Kennington Road SE11
If you look closely you still see the painted words SCUM, one letter between each window, that was put up in red paint the night before a big animal rights demo marched past the place from Kennington Park. It was also detailed that the legend 'Class War' was also daubed on a 'nearby wall'. 

Source: Ruinist eye-witnesings and ArkAngel Magazine Issue 20 (late 1990's)

Close by the above on wall of 373 Kennington Rd / Milverton St, SE11
If you look closely you can see the words 'SUPPORT ********' and 'SMASH FA.....' which the new art gallery there has deemed not worthy of keeping on display. Boo!  Presumably support something and Smash Fascism. Good old fashioned classics that remain for our delights and gladdening the heart.

Source: Ruinist Streetview drifting

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


The Ruinist found something else to do in Rio after being inspired by an article on Aldo van Eyck's playgrounds in Amsterdam and his move from rational play structures to a more relative mix of play architecture, deleting the boundaries of play space / pedestrian space and thinking more about the urban context for play:

Here follows a series of photographs from Lapa, Gloria, Flamengo, Largo do Machado, Botafogo, Laranjeiras and Cosme Velho taken as part of passing by a playground in the moment or as part of a special excursion to visit one seen from a bus or on other walks.

The most spectacular are at the start with some multi-coloured mini modernist cities of the poured concrete form so beloved in Brazil. These were the exception. Then comes a standard municipal model - yellow swings, orange slide, blue climbing frame! There is nothing very van Eyck about these puppies apart from some of them being at corner spaces, old spaces, unused spaces like post-War Amsterdam. They are what they are though - a bog standard playground found all over but each with their own local clientele or own ruination. The one sandpit The Ruinist found (excited as we were by van Eyck's love of the sandpit) was more or less a part-time trash pit or sometimes toilet).

The Ruinist refrained from too many humans in the pictures this being a study of the material conditions of play. Pictured in no particular order or cluster and without street references because The Ruinist's notes became so chaotic and indecipherable and The Ruinist was feeling lazy tonight. Enjoy!




January - June 2012

Morro da ProvidĂȘncia favela, October 2012