Kensal Green: Tube photography project
A YOUNG writer has set up a website to celebrate the essence of every London tube station. The project is ambitious – aiming to collate a library of poetry, photography and illustrations about each of London s stations. We were talking it over and we
A YOUNG writer has set up a website to celebrate the essence of every London tube station.
The project is ambitious - aiming to collate a library of poetry, photography and illustrations about each of London's stations.
"We were talking it over and we got so excited we bought the domain name there and then on his iPhone. It cost less than the wine."
Rosa Rankin-Gee, 23, from Kensal Rise, came up with the idea for the website, Alight Here, over a drink with her partner in the project Siddharth Khajuri another north Londoner.
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Recently the website surpassed 100 submissions, which together form an evocative portrait of our underground system.
The photographs - often gritty, fast and colorful - are of the station building, fixtures and fittings and passengers: essentially a visual simulation of the tried-and-trusted tube map.
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But Rosa wants more: "At the moment the priority is contribution, this project will only work if local people get involved, because the spirit of each place can only be seen by people who live there.
"It's an interesting way of capturing all of London. If you look at most coffee table books they focus on the centre, they focus on the tourist attractions but this is a project that covers zones 1-6.
"It's called greater London for a reason."
Living in Kensal Rise since she was born, Rosa recently returned to the fold after four years at Durham University.
She said: "My local stations are Kensal Green and Queen's Park, because for some unknown reason someone at TfL always decides to terminate my train there.
"People in London become very defined by their tube station. I have always been a Bakerloo girl - and at school that made me proud."
She pulls a face and added: "All my friends were Northern Line."
The poems - some of which have been contributed by award winning writers such as Linda Grant and Dorothea Smartt - bring more of the personality of each area.
Witty and sharp they work both as an inside joke for locals and a glimpse of the native culture for those just passing through.
Indeed, Rosa's mother, herself a successful novelist, contributed her own ode to the local tube stop.
Queen's Park, Belle
of the Bakerloo - go
southwards, sunwards from
"I left my heart in
Highbury & Islington
with hope. You'll find it."