Tristan Hazell lives and works in the shadow of the Westway on Portobello Road. What follows is a collection of observations, reviews, social comment, fiction, poetry, art criticism and more. Much of it is fiction and some of it will offend someone somewhere, I hope.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Grenfell Tower one month on. Notes on a vigil.

Lost for words.


Despite living for a while in the shadow of the tower and having witnessed the unbelievable made horrifically real I felt like an intruder.

A community glued in grief came together in silence. A deafening silence. A numbing silence.

The emotional exhaustion is palpable, one senses that it is collective adrenaline alone that is holding things together. In a sense the local authorities inability to deal with the tragedy and the need for the community to take control meant that many were too busy to fall apart in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

RBKC demonstrated that it is not fit for purpose when it comes to 'Local Authority'. It has no authority here now. The only valid authority is in the collective hands of the community.

The fire insulted every sense:  Smell, touch, taste, sight, hearing and fear as well as those arcane, primeval, intangible senses that cannot even be named. As the fire died, an ember, a spark, ignited another sense: A sense that has been smouldering for centuries... A sense of injustice and enough IS enough.

At the vigil I sensed an almighty presence,  a collective ghost. Not here to haunt but to demand justice and change.

Shhhhhh.  Give it time to think and work out a plan.



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