Walking the Elephant / Recorriendo Elephant

Elephant & Castle is well known as the biggest centre of the Latin American community in the UK. At the time of carrying out this project, the site’s redevelopment was threatening their continued presence. Local traders, vital touchpoints of the community, were fighting for the survival of their businesses. External visitors to Elephant & Castle had a visual experience that was dominated by the timeworn materiality of the physical space. As an illustrator I was able to draw attention to the topographical imaginary, the mental image of local residents and traders, populated with associated stories, memories and experiences.

In collaboration with Latin Elephant, a charity that promotes the inclusion of migrant and ethnic groups in processes of urban change, I designed a participatory project, which resulted in illustrated outputs that speak of the vitality of the community.

This project aimed to visualises otherwise invisible social relations, perceptions and habitual uses of Elephant & Castle, on the cusp of their terminal disruption. The work materialises the social relations that contributed to its making, and functions as an archive of a now displaced community.

Overview of printed outputs, distribued to participants
Detail of printed output

Maps resulting from workshops
Workshop detail

Workshop participants, April 2017
Workshop participants, April 2017

Workshop onlookers, July 2017
Workshop participant, July 2017