Like all major cities, the very fabric of London’s identity, the community of 9 million Londoners who call it home, is forever in flux. While many move in, out and around the capital at will, many more find their movements directed by forces beyond their control.
The displacement of people in London is threatening the very core of one of our most fundamental rights – housing – and disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable communities, who are fighting to have their voices heard by those in charge.
In collaboration with Focus E15, a campaign initiated by a group of young mothers from Newham fighting the impending eviction from their homes, and using their movement as a starting point, Architecture for Humanity London’s exhibition explores the history of displacement within London and its recurring root cause. Our installation maps forced movement in London over the past 70 years while revealing the stories of the communities affected by it.
Against the backdrop of translucent screens displaying maps of London illustrating areas where people have been displaced, the exhibition tells of the personal journeys behind displacement in London, beginning with the movement of people fleeing the destruction of the Second World War to and from London, to the communities dispersed by slum clearances and finally the economic forces that are still driving out whole sectors of our community.
The exhibition culminates in an interactive screen that allows visitors to mark where they live in London and trace their journey to and away from the capital, creating a complex web of forced or wilful movements that the individuals have experienced.