23rd January, 2022 / 15:30 -
16th October, 2018
In this talk I will discuss a number of political, conceptual and methodological issues which have arisen from the research and development of A Citizen’s Atlas of London. This project, initiated by the Livingmaps Network, is setting out to train and support citizen mappers located in regeneration hot spots across London, enabling them to use a variety of participatory mapping approaches to explore and represent their own alternative visions of the city’s past, present and future.
To what extent can participatory action research be considered an effective tool for doing citizen social science? How far can an ethno-cartographic approach succeed in releasing the sociological imagination of groups who find themselves marginalized in the political and planning process, disqualified by the educational system, and condemned to an increasingly precarious economic existence?
To address these questions I will present and discuss a video of two map making sessions, the first with a senior citizen’s group, the second with a mixed ability group of children and young people, both drawn from working class and minority ethnic communities in East London’s docklands which have suffered historic neglect by the civic planning authorities, but now find themselves caught up in a process of accelerated gentrification.