"Flash Picnic" At Bermondsey Square Today

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 109 months ago
"Flash Picnic" At Bermondsey Square Today

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Image courtesy of knit 1 weave 1 under the Creative Commons Attribution license

Vicky Richardson, editor of Blueprint magazine, must enjoy stirring up trouble. Weeks after admitting she was the one who yelled out "abolish the monarchy!" during Prince Charles' RIBA speech, the magazine she edits has responded to Boris Johnson's call for ideas on public space by, err, calling for a picnic.

Well, not quite. What's actually happening is that the magazine's latest issue features an intriguing photo-essay on just how "public" London's many public squares are. An intrepid bunch of rule-benders decamp to the likes of More London, Paternoster Square and Trafalgar Square, where they perform such subversive acts as kicking a football around, drinking beer from a can, setting up a picnic and, most devious of all, wearing a hoodie. All provoke differing responses from local security staff, and highlight the preposterous situation we've wound ourselves up in, with theoretically public spaces that are in fact heavily sanitised, privately owned spheres with strictly delineated standards of behaviour.

The mag has responded to Boris' announcement by deploring the hyperregulation of public space, and in protest they've announced a flash-picnic (that's a civilised version of the flash mob, rather than a picnic with blankets designed by Balenciaga) this afternoon at Bermondsey Square. The picnic starts at 5.30; bring your own crustless sandwiches and sponge cakes.

Last Updated 03 July 2009