The Funeral of Baroness Thatcher was filmed during the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on 17 April 2013. The event was surrounded by considerable controversy: In several cities “death parties” were held in the days before, although during the procession itself protests were more muted than initially anticipated.
Unlike the BBC programme of the same name which rose to the solemnity and grandeur of the occasion, in the video The Funeral of Baroness Thatcher the camera lingers on the actions of bystanders who are watching the proceedings from behind crowd control barriers. It was filmed at the place where little over a year earlier the Occupy London camp was evicted after four months of peaceful protest.
The sound track features recordings from the location, including the voices of both Thatcher critics and supporters, either as they are being interviewed by journalists, or as they engage in arguments with other members of the crowd. This ambience recedes into the background however, submerged under a rendition of a song about death and the afterlife. Akin to the lyrics’ wavering between desolation and comfort, its function in the piece is ambiguous: It might be addressed to the mourners at the funeral, to supporters of Thatcherite politics who hope for these to continue, to their opponents who vow to keep up their fight, or to bystanders who hope immortalise moments of their lives by capturing them on camera.
|London Seizure||Bermondsey Project||23 May 2013|