UNINVITED GUESTS – SUMMER HOTHOUSE BLOG
It’s a Wednesday at the beginning of August, I’m sitting in The Albany Café and the sun is shining. Life carries on even though the world feels very different from the last time I wrote a blog post (June). Brexit has happened. The future looks very different, at least to how I thought it would go. But then that’s life right. We think we are going down one road and then all of a sudden something happens and the direction changes. That has happened throughout history. And that is why the future is so unpredictable. But it can’t and shouldn’t stop us dreaming and imagining and talking about it.
Hothouse, as I’m sure you know by now, is a year long project exploring potential futures for Deptford. And this week Uninvited Guests, along with Sam Steer and Duncan Speakman (who are also the Give Me Back My Broken Night team) are running a week of workshops with teenagers from the area as part of The Albany’s Summer Arts programme. We’ve been asking the young people we’ve been working with to re-imagine certain areas around The Lounge, to re-look at the spaces they walk through every day, and think about what they would like it to look like in the future.
In one of the locations we visited they imagined (at some point in the future) a new Deptford Mall/Theme Park just to the side of The Albany building. This new shopping centre is a tall building with lots of shops like Apple and JD Sports and Primark and Krispy Kreme, with a theme part on the ground floor. There is a car park in the basement and a train station that links up with the Orange Line. At the top of the building is a roof top garden with trees, from which you can access a roller coaster that winds around the building. Local shops could also move in at a discounted rate! We then tried drawing these visions and making them out of card.
We also walked to Deptford Creek and stood on the little footbridge that crosses the water. There is a huge amount of development currently going on around the creek, and as we stood there looking out they commented on how dirty the water looked with the sides of the creek all covered in moss and grime. They thought it wouldn’t be a nice view from all the new houses being built. So we imagined a different view. We imagined clean water flowing through with dolphins swimming and tropical fish. We imagined a big slide from the new houses into the water. We imagined large plants growing on the mud banks, and Atlantis
Earlier today we stood in the middle of the busy Junk Market on Douglas Way and just listened. When you live in a city there is always noise of some sort or another which you tend to get used to and then not hear anymore; but it’s incredible what you hear if you stop and really listen. We talked about what the future of this place might sound like in 100 years time: everyone will speak one language which will comprise of many different languages, a bit like Patois, and all cars will be electric so completely silent. It’s very possible. After all, and as we keep saying in the workshops, anything is possible in the future, we just need to imagine it first. We are only on day 3 of 5 and so who knows what the future will hold by the end of the week…
It’s been lovely to spend a few days here in Deptford. I bumped into Dominic from Meet Me At The Albany and had a cup of tea and cake and talked about a possible collaboration with the Meet Me group in September. So watch this space.
Finally, I wanted to draw your attention to the next Hothouse event called London’s Burning by the lovely White Rabbit (Bernadette Russell). It is on Friday 2nd September, it’s free and there will be sparklers. See you there.
Think that’s all.
Jess (Uninvited Guests)