Writing on Walls

It’s almost midnight and the sounds of the organ from the chapel below are seeping up through the floorboards. We’re on the final leg of a midnight stroll, styled after the Midnight Runs from the imagination of poet and spoken word artist Inua Ellams.

It’s the second of two journeys across our city, London. The first for Inua’s established and expanding group of Midnight Runners; the second mini version for a small group of elders who work creatively with Entelechy: two journeys pausing, passing and playing by iconic places and spaces in the city.

The Royal Society of Arts ‘The artist as citizen and intermediary project’ created space and time for artists and scientists to engage with their pre-occupations and obsessions.

Our loosely styled ‘experiment brought together Simon Tanner an academic in digital humanities based at Kings College, poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams and me.

The journeys traced themes from Simon’s framework of five Modes of Cultural Value exploring the resonance of specific sites. We collected data through exercises, games and conversation. We played with themes of place, ownership, citizenship and social change. But mostly we just had fun.

I drove back into south-east London with the elders, 2 am and the imaginations are firing; like the Rio sleepovers of a year ago. Maybe we swap our regular Monday meetings from 2pm to 2am. Maybe.

Edwin Mingard’s film above beautifully captures the night.

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