Byker (1983)

Amber Films, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

A partly dramatised documentary built around Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen’s photographs of the Newcastle terraced community, demolished to make way for the Byker Wall.

Konttinen, a founder member of the Amber collective moved to Byker when the group came to NE England in 1969. She lived there until 1976, when her own flat was demolished. The film reconstructed some of the contexts, which had already gone, creating a celebration of traditional working class culture that has been widely shown to community and general audiences, as well as in planning and architecture forums. Together with Keeping Time, the film was one of Amber’s early photo films. Others created around Konttinen’s photographs include The Writing in the Sand (1991), Letters to Katja (1994), Today I’m With You (2010) and Song for Billy (2016).

Amber Films, 53 mins, 1983

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