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London Without

The title for this entry was "stolen" from (gone too soon) artist David Newey who worked on a project called "Stoke Without", where he documented the decline of the industry and regeneration times in Stoke-on-Trent.

Well, this week, I've experienced "London Without" and this was... disturbing. I only experienced London sporadically, at different stages of my life, between the mid-90s and now, but each time, I pictured the city as an anthill, where cultures and walks of life gathered and crossed each other with mainly one common purpose : making it.

And now, whether "making it" meant money, fame or a mere tick on a tourist's bucket list, since the covid pandemic hit the city, this has all gone... The visitor comes across an unrecognisable Piccadilly Circus, ghostly-looking theatres, a deserted City of London, tourist attractions without any tourists...Of course, there are people in town, but many walk around projecting the guilt of someone who happens to be where they shouldn't be. However, despite this grim backdrop, you come across some people who pay attention to each other, try to make eye contact, engage in a brief socially-distanced conversation.

Would have they done when everything was buzzing, like in 2002,? That year, a film called "28 days later" showed apocalyptic images of London following the spread of a virus. Back then, the thought of it was unthinkable, or was it an actual prophecy?

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