White Hawk Hill
On Brighton’s Whitehawk Hill lie traces of an ancient ritual monument known as Whitehawk Camp.
Older than Stonehenge, 5,500 years ago this neolithic enclosure was a spectacular landmark: four white chalk walls encircling the summit of the hill, a place for community gatherings, feasting and burial. Today the site is dominated by a mobile phone mast and cut by road and racecourse.
Excavations in the early 20th century revealed pottery, flint tools, animal bones, chalk carvings and four poignant human burials : a 40 year old man, a young boy and two women in their twenties – one buried with her unborn baby, a carved chalk pendant and fossilised sea urchins laid by her side.
Most of the hill remains unexcavated.
WHITE HAWK HILL was filmed over one year from autumn to summer in collaboration with archaeologist Matt Pope, who grew up next to the hill and abandofbrothers, a rites of passage based mentoring organisation for young men, founded in Whitehawk.
In the Neolithic the average life expectancy was around thirty. The young men and women who gathered here would have been skilled and respected members of their community. A twenty-year-old today can feel alienated and marginalised; excluded rather than included. With abandofbrothers we explored this contrast through on-site experiential events and investigation of the Neolithic finds collection at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.
WHITE HAWK HILL is an evocation of a forgotten hinterland and its people, connecting archaeology, myth and contemporary life to reveal a landscape shared by two communities over 5,000 years apart.
Caitlin Easterby, Simon Pascoe (Red Earth) • Anna Lucas
Andrew and Louis Drake, Richard Hawley, Lucas Pyke, Rex Brangwyn and the men and families from abandofbrothers
Dr Matt Pope (UCL), Andy Maxted (Curator BM&AG), Paola Ponce (ASE) Rosie Harding, Tanushka Marah, Orlando Tyr
The people of Whitehawk Hill
Live music Dirk Campbell
Second camera Simon Hipkins
Additional thanks to Donna Close
and Paul Gorringe (Whitehawk Hill Park Ranger)
ANNA LUCAS is a film and video artist whose work develops from observations of social networks and individuals in response to specific geographic and architectural locations.. annalucas.co.uk
abandofbrothers is a charity established by men committed to positive social change. Central to their work are experiences that have come to be termed ‘rites of passage.’ abandofbrothers.org.uk