Rotozaza – [World (remembrance) Service]

A message we’re sending out to anyone who might have been in the Stoke Newington area of London this time, ten years back (June 2001)… 


Dear all, 

Exactly ten years ago Silvia Mercuriali and I presented, as Rotozaza, a large-scale, night-time event in the great Abney Park (abandonned) cemetery in Stoke Newington, London. It was called Rotozaza 6 [WORLD SERVICE]. Perhaps you either took part or witnessed it? There were about sixty artists and groups involved and, over the two nights, three thousand people came through the doors.

Over the years people have often mentioned it, and we’ve always enjoyed hearing the strange fragments of memories, variously distorted or inflected by time or the disorientation felt at the time – the vastness, the darkness, the often blurred line between what was or wasn’t ‘part of it’. 

As the project had at its core a concern with the process of forgetting (manifested in the cemetery’s slow handover to nature), we thought it would be interesting to put a call out for memories of the event, however faint or partial. Single lines or full page accumulations all welcome, as are spin-offs, associations, subsequent related happenings etc. If you happen to have photos or video, we’d be fascinated to see them, but for this we’ll be hoping for descriptions of what you remember.

Please email whatever you can to 

Silvia and I will be meeting in Milan at the end of the month where we’ll take a look at what’s come in, and decide what to do with it. At the very least we hope to compile the writings in an interesting way. We may, in July, attempt a small reading of them in-situ, back in Abney Park Cemetery. As Rotozaza finished in 2009 we’ve been wanting to do something, however humble, to mark the end of ten amazing years working together, but so far have been too bound up with our independent and ongoing work to get anything together. This might be a good chance. 

Lastly, PLEASE forward this around (or share on fb) to anyone who you think might have been there. We’d hope this ends up doing the rounds, especially in the local (Hackney) area. 

Thanks in advance for taking a moment to see what comes to the surface. 

very best wishes

Ant Hampton, 
Silvia Mercuriali

Rotozaza 6 [WORLD SERVICE] was a commission from the Stoke Newington Festival 2001, curated by Fiona Fieber. 


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