Exploring and engaging in EC1
by David Wilcox March 17 2021
The EC1 Echo will launch an initiative on March 31 2021 to help people re-engage locally and re-animate the area as pandemic lockdown eases. This note covers:
The launch article to be published in the Echo
How the map will work
Ideas for following through with more substantial mapping and storytelling initiatives in EC1
Echo article: Interact with your area
By David Wilcox
The interactive map
Other mapping projects in EC1
Last year the plans to launch an interactive map - which wwer are now following through - were put on hold because of the pandemic. Some new mapping projects supported by Culture Mile provide a great opportunity to start a more comprehensive project telling the story of Clerkenwell and Smithfield past, present and future. Here's the original vision from an Echo article in March 2020, and a heritage trail on this site.
News on the March
Through a digital map and series of oral history recordings, artist Eloise Hawser is tracing the histories of newspaper production and circulation in Square Mile. Tracking the ebbs and flows of journalists, printers, distributors, and readers across the last 250 years, Eloise will be talking to public librarians to discuss the role of libraries in disseminating the news, past and present. These will be available to download via her digital map, free to Square Mile residents and visitors.
London Walled City
The London Wall has shaped our city for nearly 2000 years. This project will look at its history, changing appearance, impact on the City, relationship with nearby buildings and those who live and work in the area through a series of prints, animations and guided tours.
London Walled City will look at the history of the wall, its constantly changing appearance, its impact on its neighbourhood, its relationship with nearby buildings old and new and its role in enclosing [or maybe liberating] those who live and work nearby.
As a City of London guide and a printmaker, this project will bring together a long-standing interest in talking about the City of London with my experience of printmaking and animation. London Walled City will engage audiences in the history of the Wall and its contemporary impact on London.
In addition Islington Council's Islington Pride project will be demonstrating advanced storytelling and mapping through a Digital Landscape that highlights important locations in LGBTQ+ heritage in the borough.
This trail will allow residents and visitors of Islington to gain a greater insight into LGBTQ+ history and to highlight the importance of the subject in the borough’s heritage landscape.
The story mapping platform is provided by Humap, who developed the Layers of London project and Coventry Atlas. I think that the Humap system - subject to funding - could be an ideal platform for a second phase development of maps and stories, if others in the area were interested.
How we might further develop maps, stories and connections
With a story mapping platform we could feature local community projects now being supported by the Peel Institute Connecting Clerkenwell programme, and the community organiser team featured in the Echo. Echo stories, features, people and places could be added to a story map that has different layers, tours and trails.
There's enormous scope for featuring maps and news about the new Museum of London and other Smithfield plans Peter Bill reported in the Echo last year, as well as providing links to the many excellent walks highlighted in this article.
The Museum and Culture Mile are committed to a range of education and community engagement programmes that could be linked to EC1 maps.
Projects like Clerkenwell and Bunhill Volunteers, developed during the pandemic, will have a host of stories and connections that they might wish to share.
My vision, sparked by discussion with Mike Franks in 2019 , and more recently with Echo editor Oliver Bennett and the editorial group, is that we might develop a community platform for conversation and collaboration in EC1 combining print, maps and online communication. For me that provides a local focus for work I've done with Drew Mackie and others exploring London as a more Networked City.
In the short-term we can use responses to the map to:
Look for connections with other mapping projects. We'll feature those in the Echo.
Develop a more organised "favourite places" map, probably using Maphub, which is the platform for Paul Lincoln's London Wall walk
Explore further development with key organisations and interests in the area
If you are interested in learning more about any of this, and perhaps joining a mapping and storytelling group for EC1, do get in touch David Wilcox email@example.com or direct message Twitter @davidwilcox.