We are the people who live in London.
Some of us are born here and some of us will die here. Some of us have been here forever and some came here yesterday. Some of us will stay forever, like it or not.
We have been those people for nearly 2000 years and our consciousness has shaped our environment from our gardens to Parliament, from our market stalls to the London Eye.
The way we are governed, the things we touch every day, step over, sit on, ignore, marvel at and sleep on manifest themselves as our thoughts, hopes, loves, fears, phobias, aspirations, inspirations, lives and deaths. Our shared experience shapes everything.
We are the Homeless.
We are the Sloanes and the Trustafarians.
We are Yuppies and Geezers.
We are Barrow Boys, City Boys and the Masters of the Universe.
We Lords and Ladies.
We are Cockneys and we are Immigrants.
We are the Workers and we are the Unemployed.
We are London.
Imagine stopping one day on Oxford Street and, just for a second, knowing everything that was happening in every building around you, everyone’s thoughts as they tutted their way past you and sharing in everyone’s immediate experience. It would be immense, overwhelming and would be the closest human experience to omnipotence.
The magnificent Museum of London, in conjunction with Tamsin Fulton, is trying to tune into the experience of London and Londoners by building an emotional map of London. It’s the everyday recollections of us all with the aim of defining our city as we’ve actually lived it. The Map My London site allows you to leave a personal memory that relates to a geographical location under the headings of Love and Loss, Fate and Coincidence, Beauty and Horror, Joy and Struggle, Friendship and Solitude and What else? It is an ambitious project that aims to make an artifact of our London experience.
Currently there are nearly 800 entries spanning across London and amongst the everyday musings there are some genuinely mysterious, heartfelt outpourings; pitiful cries for help; and subdued confessions that sometimes seem like therapy for the masses. Londonist urges to you to go to the site, view the entries, empathise for a moment and then pour out your heart.
You never know, it might do you good.
Image cropped from Thomas Wesenberg’s, “Panoramic view from Golden Gallery of Saint Paul’s Cathedral” published under the GNU Free Documentation License in Wikimedia Commons.