Like the best bits of London, your senses awakened: Colorful, cartoony Camden, the musicality and liveliness of Brixton. But a little more playful.
Eclectic graffiti and posters give life to the plain architecture. Political posters mock the “democratic” governments, like pantomime villains in an increasingly desperate world. Placards advertising demonstrations against multinational corporations plaster the streets, and varied artwork encourages the welcoming of refugees. Slogans such as:
‘I wish we could all live life in someone else’s shoes’
’empathy, the world needs more empathy’
Women look refreshingly comfortable: their clothes baggy and their shoes practical. A wonderful lack of make-up, women in their twenties / thirties bare-faced, confident and gorgeous. The only branded item of clothing particularly visible, on men and women, were Doctor Marten boots, a symbol of rebellion since the 1960s.
Few brands and even fewer photoshopped adverts invade shared space. Within 20km, I notice just two fast-food chains. It feels like this community ignores the commercial world as much as possible.
The summer streets alive with people of all ages, gathered around busking musicians, bier in hand. At weekends, they hang swings off the iconic Oberbaum Bridge. Because? Well? Why not?
Of course, I’ve got my ‘I’m on holiday’ hat on, but the city’s mischievous nature and social consciousness really is inspiring.