CCS – Urban Palimpsest: tracing memory in the city landscape

Critical & Contextual Studies, Visits

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We were told to meet at 2.30pm: Outside Central House, facing the Whitechapel Art Gallery. The CCS class went on a walk around Whitechapel,Spitalfields and down Brick Lane with my CCS class yesterday. We we’re delving into the history of the area. 

In preparation for this walk we were given a reading list and a video to watch before our arrival. The first article is  a review of a novel by Monica Ali SANDHU- Come hungry, leave edgy. Which focused on the history around the Whitechapel area, starting from as early as 1603 and finishing relatively recently. The article paints rather a terrible history about Brick Lane the first line starts ‘Brick Lane used to be the home of the dead’ talking about a roman burial ground. The article also tells the story of quite a political and racial history. “The National Front moved its central offices from Teddington in East London to Great Eastern Street, a few minutes’ walk from Brick Lane. Their intention was to provoke more trouble following an incident four months earlier in which Altab Ali, a young clothing worker from Wapping, had been set upon and murdered by three men in nearby Alder Street. A hotograph from the period shows a swastika scrawled on a wall above the message ‘we’re back'”.

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Our first stop was Toynbee Hall. We were given the history about the building and what it stood for. It was created in 1884 in response to a growing realisation that social change would not be achieved through the existing individualised and gradual approaches.




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We also visited Christ Church in Spitalfields, I have been past this amazing building so many times but I have never been inside before.


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