“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce,” says Karl Marx. In 1981, riots broke out between local police and black residents in Brixton, UK, a working class neighborhood in South London. Now, imagine a futuristic Brixton, which has degenerated into a disregarded area inhabited by London’s new robot workforce – robots built and designed to carry out all of the tasks which humans are no longer inclined to do. Filmmaker and architecture graduate Kibwe Tavares of Factory Fifteen produced this futuristic and harrowing vision in the following short film, a mix of animation with architectural drawing, overlaid with photographs from the Brixton riots of the early 1980s.

Tavares describes his futuristic imagining of robotic enslavement here: “The film follows the trials and tribulations of young robots surviving the harsh inner city life, living the predictable existence of a populous hemmed in by poverty, disillusionment and mass unemployment. When the Police invade the one space which the robots can call their own, the fierce and strained relationship between the two sides explodes into an outbreak of violence echoing that of 1981.”

Tavares made the film as part of his masters degree in architecture at The Bartlett. Watch it here:

Robots of Brixton from Kibwe Tavares on Vimeo.

Direction, animation, modeling, lighting, texturing etc: Kibwe Tavares
Photographer, Brixton riots: David Hoffman
Sound designer: Mourad Bennacer
Music: “The Great Insurrection” DJ Hiatus