A Compact London

by James Fawcett April 16, 2015 A

Some of my early reflections of the USA situation and the UK (London) situation is the physical space difference, the issues in the US are much more spread out, the distance between neighbourhoods and services etc. is much greater.

Young people in urban areas in the UK are faced with diversity, economics, politics and poverty in a much more intense and compact way. On a young person’s walk to church, or day at school they could be faced with an intense variety and diversity that is far rarer than in most USA states. They my walk past a park, a beggar drinking, a Architects office, a run down corner shop, a family leaving a mosque wearing a Hijab an Indian Takeaway and a Turkish restaurant a pub, a high street full of shops, a young family.

It is this challenge of intensity and difference that makes the particular situation of London so interesting. Young people we work with have multiple narratives and experiences pulling them in different ways. One of these of course is our interaction with them. There are questions about how we make that interaction as meaningful as possible. One thought sticks with me – perhaps it is less about what we are saying, and more about how we give them space to process the other narratives of their lives in London.