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Monday, 4 January 2016

Space: inner and outer



Today, musing about various things whilst standing on a tube platform, I realised that much of my writing for this blog (infrequent as it is) involves issues of space. Many of my thoughts come whilst walking out and about, as I react to advertising in public spaces. Conversely, I am drawn to how people make their own personal marks in public spaces through decoration and graffiti. 

As I have mentioned many times, I try to cycle as much as possible whilst in transit in my hometown London; and I don't own a television. I therefore feel quite sensitive to advertising, as I find it particularly noticeable when taking public transport and walking in public spaces. Of course, advertising assaults us in the home as well; but it's much easier to skim past it (on the Internet, whilst using apps on my phone, etc) when you know it's there: you put up an internal blockade, over which far less reaches you. 

Space in London is infamously precarious at the moment. House prices are insane, rental costs even worse than mortgages. City dwellers here are expected to live in small bedrooms in flatshares well into their 30s. Yet we are constantly attacked with images encouraging us to spend and buy - expend any and all disposable income when what we really need is more space of our own; not stuff to fill it with. 

Last summer's tube strikes happened surrounding issues of space too: tube workers not wanting to work all night, and quoting their right to a decent work-life balance. Most Londoners were pretty unsympathetic, but I think that the desire to spend time at home during the night is pretty fair. Not everyone just wants to work all the time...