Andrea Zimmerman

Crossing Borders 2015 | 20 October | 7 - 8.30pm

As London undergoes rapid transformation at the hands of developers and increasing polarisation between rich and poor, filmmaker and cultural activist Andrea Luka Zimmerman will present her seven year project Estate (2008-2015).

Capturing a moment of imminent transition, Estate reflects on urgent matters of regeneration, gentrification and architecture; its reasons, possibilities and consequences. A project about time and place, and forms of dreaming and the capacity for wonder within ongoing and growing daily systemic pressures. During this moment of transition (in social and architectural terms), where one structure has broken down, and a new one is about to emerge, another space unfolds; a space of proposals, of uncertainty, and of absolute initiative. In this opening, how might we ask important questions of our ideas of home, of history, always in the making, and of our capacity for an ambition of the imagination in straitened times; that which influences not only how we’re seen, but also how we see; how we dream.

The project sought to give the residents a voice and a visual presence – to counter the many myths and clichés of their mainstream representation with images of resilience, strength, and a celebration of spirited existence regardless of the social and economic hand they had been dealt.

It also hopes to offer a modest signpost towards a wider relevance and way of being in the city; a more inclusive and supportive form of social and personal interaction, taking place within a more porous and collectively focused urban environment.


Andrea Luka Zimmerman is a filmmaker, artist and cultural activist. Andrea grew up on a large council estate and left school at 16. After coming to London in 1991, she went to Central St. Martins, where she now teaches.

She is co-founder of the artists' collective Fugitive Images (I am here and Estate: Art, Politics and Social Housing in Britain). Her new essay-film Estate, a Reverie, tracks the passing of the Haggerston Estate in East London and the utopian promise of social housing it offered, with a spirited celebration of extraordinary everyday humanity. Filmed over seven years, Estate reveals and celebrates the resilience of residents who are profoundly overlooked by media representations and wider social responses, and asks how we might resist being framed exclusively through class, gender, ability or disability, and through geography even.

Her essay-film Taskafa, Stories of the Street (66mins, 2013), about resistance and co-existence and voiced by John Berger, is told through the lives of the street dogs of Istanbul.

A founding member of Vision Machine, she worked in the USA and Indonesia, exploring the impact of globalisation, power, and denied histories. Her PhD (UAL 2007) examined the relationship between spectacular (Hollywood) and spectral (covert and special military operations) representations of political violence. From this period developed her essay-film Prisoner of War (2016), exploring US militarism and foreign policy through a character study of one of its most enduring rogue agents.
In 2014 she won the Artangel Open award for her collaborative project Cycle (2017) with Adrian Jackson (Cardboard Citizens). She is shortlisted for the 2015 Jarman award.