Tonderai Maboreke

"The Politics of Place"

Section 9, Ariel Caine

Keywords: memory, mapping, narrative, disaster, architecture

On the 14th of June 2017, a fire spread through the Grenfell tower, causing the death of 72 people and the forced displacement of hundreds more from the flats in North Kensington. In the aftermath of the disaster, despite government promises to rehouse residents within 3 weeks, a large majority of people from the blocks beside the tower have been moved between various temporary settlements for well over a year. As a result, the pain suffered by many Grenfell survivors has intensified due to the government’s failure to provide them with new and adequate homes.

My Project follows the movement of a specific individual and her family (who I know personally) tracing the journeys and paths of displacement they were forced to take since the event. These coordinates are marked alongside an analysis of the various authority’s involvement and the generosity of some nearby residents who offered to step in where authorities failed. The continuous adding of data points and the accounts of multiple residents seeks to abstract the piece, inevitably contributing to a heightening of the sense of injustice around the maltreatment in the aftermath of the tragic event. Archival documents and mapped data are used in order to reflect these moments of mediation. Opaque letters reflecting forgotten promises made to a neglected people.

Overlaid on top of this cartography is an art piece created by the person whose movements I traced. The print recalls memories, trauma, fear and anxiety manifesting them into the practical realisation of the project.