Contemporary Media Cultures students explore the changing face of Elephant and Castle
Words by Ian Gustav Ahlberg, BA (Hons) Public Relations graduate (2016).
Third-year BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures students at London College of Communication explored the changes taking place locally, in a photography and video exhibition aptly titled Elephant in the Room.
As Elephant and Castle is undergoing huge changes to its cityscape as part of the area’s redevelopment, students on the BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures course captured the vibrant, energetic and multicultural soul of the area ahead of its transformation.
In collaboration with UAL Photography and Archive Research Centre, students collected photography and videos characterising the area and showcased the work in a public exhibition at the nearby Hotel Elephant.
We caught up with Tim, one of the students behind the exhibition, to talk about the event, his course and his plans for the future.
Tell us about the recent Elephant in the Room exhibition.
Elephant in the Room was essentially an exhibition to document BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures students’ outputs in a practical working sense. Our course is mainly analytical and this exhibition was a good way to showcase our practices creatively through the means of photography, video and creative writing.
The exhibition included photography, film and a printed publication. What other types of media does the course explore?
Almost anything and everything! We have studied web design, photography, creative writing and videography. Mixing this with the theoretical knowledge we learn, it has given us a broad scape of everything to expect in industry.
The event comes at time when London is seeing swathes of cityscape transformed. How does BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures engage more broadly with changes in the world?
This point you raise is integral to our course; we are studying media in the sense of how the world sees and interprets it. Our world is changing, and with that, come new ways to think, opening doors for media to be explored. Whether that is reminiscing, or looking forward to see what is ahead.
As you know, our exhibition was all about LCC’s neighbourhood, Elephant and Castle, which encouraged us to study the area. There is not a course unit or module on Elephant and Castle, but most conversations we have in class come back to the area quickly, with it being our immediate reality.
Why did you decide to study BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures?
Because I thought if I studied one thing I would get bored. I had an unconditional offer to do photography but the allure of living in London and also studying a course that would give me a range of skills was too strong.
Who do you think would enjoy your course, what kind of person would they be?
Anyone with an open mind who is ready to think differently. At times, I’ve left class wondering whether I believe in what theorists have said, or what my teachers are arguing. Sometimes it goes against what you believe, but being taught a different side of things is a good thing. It only broadens your horizons.
Oh, and they would also be diligent and attentive!
Describe your course in three words!
A media exploration. Does that make sense? *laughter*
What other projects are you working on for the future?
I am working on a video as we speak, but in general, I just want to continue creating my art. I am a photographer, writer and cinema videographer, and hoping to get my website live, finish my degree and keep creating.
We wish Tim the best of luck for the future!
Keep up with Tim on Twitter.