Photograph i took in Shoreditch

Flaneur in the metropolis

Brief

Creativley respond to a journey in the Metropolis from Tate Modern to the East End investigating the built enviroment, the local culture, the geography, and the creative industries while meeting at specified way points.

Research

Colors is a quarterly magazine about ‘the rest of the world’. Founded in 1991

When researching vandalism, graffiti, and activism, I found the ‘colors’ magazine. Issue 88- protest included ways in which places around the world have stood up for their rights. My favourite segments where infographics on how to protest with bank notes, how to defend yourself in a riot, and how to improvise a gas mask. These were all taken from real scenarios and are inspirational of how people have protested. These articles give people the information they need to protest and create an anger for people to want to change. I wanted to generate something that would create this spark, motivating people to stand up for themselves.

Whilst I feel my outcome was not as successful as this book, I think that it represents the anger people have about London being gentrified. I think my project expresses this point of view. This issue of ‘colors’ has been the most inspirational secondary research that I have used for this first semester. I found this book very engaging and would hope to be able to create something as interesting in the future

Firstly, we planned our trip to London including the sights we wanted to visit. It was important to do this so that we would know where we were going on the trip. However, the things inspired me we saw when getting lost. When walking through a clean business area there was a homeless man looking through a bin and a woman with a shaven head, large hoop earrings, and a leather jacket who was heading towards brick lane. The most poignant image I took from our visit was the homeless people sleeping opposite box park. I wasn’t expecting the ‘rich’ and ‘rough’ looking areas to be so close together. It was obvious we were heading towards brick lane as the amount of graffiti increased and tall glass buildings were replaced by Indian restaurants and takeaways. I decided to base the project around gentrification as I found that this has a big influence in Shoreditch and the cereal killer café riots. I created some graphics about Grenfell tower however these looked too clean and unlike protest/ political imagery. After reading the book colors and looking at gentrification protest signs, I decided I needed more simple, raw graphics that clearly state the message. Printing the images on sticker paper was inspired by some of the vandalism around Shoreditch. It is an easy and quick way to get the message out in a public place. I found this to be a good Idea due to my project being very politically driven. I also made the images compatible with the laser cutter so I could create stencils to make graffiti. Whilst the stencils would have fit in with the graffiti style of Shoreditch, they did not work on the laser cutter. Therefore I have made the images into stamps. The next step is to find a creative way to use these stamps that will create an interesting image.

This is my final piece for this project. I felt that the stamps where more interesting than the actual prints, so I decided to make it into a product. I was inspired by the ‘colors’ magazine that had articles about how to be an activist and protest. This stamp kit would be an easy way for people who want to rebel to express their opinion. On the packaging, I included an article in which people discuss gentrification and how it has negatively affected their lives. Having this on the front could ignite an anger in people to make them stand up to it. I chose to black out parts of the article to make it look like blackout poetry- which has a rebellious, non-conformist aesthetic. I think that just using plain cardboard and paper for the packaging goes against the mass-produced packaging that is associated with a capitalist environment. It has a home-made feel which adds another level of rebellion to the stamps.

When visiting London, I would never have thought this would be the result of the project. I have enjoyed the development of this project and hope that I can have this level of advancement for future projects. I also was able to work on the laser cutter. I hope in the future to be able to improve my skills with other equipment in the college.

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