Was this something I would normally do? NO! A caravan….?
In the middle of the city…...?
In the middle of the day……?
In the middle of my life……?
Aren’t caravans reminiscent of childhood summers spent by the sea?
Where deadlines melt away in the sweltering heat.
And recollections of the casual intimacy of camp grounds lap nostalgically around the feet….?
Not this caravan.
I knew it when we all leaned forward, into his words,
as though drawn in with his breath and
(who said it first, who knows?)
slapped the table, ‘let’s do it’ we are almost shouting,
‘let’s go! Get this caravan on the road and let’s go exploring!’
We were exploring a place, and the place was ourselves.
Bradley Garrett, anthropologist, photographer, researcher, archaeologist, explorer and author of Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City sliced up time for us and showed us the beauty, the poignancy and the privilege of urban exploration. He illustrated how challenging our notions of what is ‘allowed’ according to society’s rules of surveillance, also challenges our notions of self, and how freedom from being boxed in by the one can ultimately lead to free exploration of the other.
What may once have been called ‘trespass’, is by Bradley transformed into ‘place-hacking’ – the idea that many of the hidden layers and sites of cities (some ancient and crumbling, some still under construction) hold the key to understanding the place and it’s people.
Our people, ourselves – explore our own city, explore our own space.
Stop and look and see!
And for us, sitting perfectly transfixed in the hidden recess of our silver capsule, deadlines melted away and the casual intimacy of strangers became, for a time, camaraderie.
Perhaps, after all, this urban caravan did exactly what it came to do….