You may or may not know that the focus of my year has been studying the relationship between place and belonging. As I near the end, and work towards my final show, I came to the conclusion that my final piece should be authentic to my experience this year, and not detract from my final 30 days in this wonderful city. I wanted to spend my last month continuing to explore London and spending time with my friends here.
I have decided to focus on people similar to myself. I have termed them, 'The inbetweeners' as we are neither tourists, nor residents. Last week I hosted an Ice Cream Social with the hopes of creating an experience where knowledge is shared amongst this community of people.
While chowing down on ice cream we discussed some of the things we have learned since our arrival in London, and the things we wished we knew prior to coming. We talked about what we might put in a 'London Survival Kit' if we had to make one, and some of our favourite places to take visitors in the city.
The members then agreed to take me on tours of their Boroughs and neighbourhoods to show me how they have (or have not) achieved a sense of belonging in their particular parts of town.
I am not sure what turn the project will take from there. I have toyed withe the idea of creating an 'Inbetweeners guide to London', but we shall see.
You can follow the journey of this project by searching #londonwheretheheartis on Instagram, as that is where I will tag the photos of our various excursions.
I visited Wimbledon last week. This week I will be exploring Brockley, New Cross, Greenwhich, Hammersmith, and Hoxton. If you'd like to come along on any of these adventures, or share your neighbourhood with me, please send me a note.
I'll leave you with an explanation of Habitus (a concept I've been reading about as of late), which as I know it is a sense of one's (and other's) place and role in the world and one's lived environment. It is a concept developed by the French philosopher, Pierre Bourdieu (amongst others) and seems to link closely to my area of research.
Wikipedia describes Habitus as:
Lifestyles / values / dispositions of particular social groups acquired through the experiences of everyday life. The structure of the mind is characterised by a set of acquired schemata, sensibilities, dispositions and taste.
And Pierre Bourdieu explains it as:
Habitus is thus the selective perception of a situation which generates a response according to the practical potential of the actor(s) desire(s)