Food4Thought is part of motiroti’s MultiWalks App which launched on Friday 18th October on iOS / iPhone, and, finally the festive season has brought with it the Android version. A FREE art app for smart phones MultiWalks helps navigate London, Oslo and Reggio Emilia. The app has been updated in many ways… more importantly, home page and faster download time as the films are hosted on line viewable even on your desktop.
From as early as I can remember, I am curious. I relish in seeing a singular thing from many different angles. The more distinct the angle, the more real and whole the thing becomes. In my last couple years with motiroti, I felt the deep need to create a mobile platform about alternative guides to cities. This urge was a result of tracing my own Journeys of Love and More Love by re-tracing migrations in a kaleidoscopic way. To connect disparate people of a city, to highlight issues and acknowledge change. What better way than to create journeys that people could take either in situ or remotely, individually or collectively. Cities reinterpreted by intercultural points of views, stories off the beaten track rather than popular touristic landmarks and guides. A city to be experienced beyond its consumer value of the exotic. I wanted to learn, connect, inform, promote and aggregate knowledge and wisdom between different communities. Roughly three years ago, I shared this dream with then my producer Rachel Feuchtwang and later with Tim Jones, the current executive director of motiroti. We did other projects in the meantime and this dream was shelved for a while. After my departure from motiroti, Tim started developing the ideas and finally this year in April, the project launched as multipliCities. Hosted in partnership with Cass Business School, it brought together leading academics, urban explorers, software developers and artists, through a series of knowledge sharing talks and walks. Soon the working title changed to MultiWalks. Five walks designed for three cities. Besides myself the commissioned artists are Gabriel Gbadamosi (London), ColletivoFX (Reggio Emilia), Margarida Paiva and Shwan Dler Qadaraki (Oslo). All at once they reveal areas of cities through the lens of those who inhabit them.
Lower Marsh is a street not new to me yet I didn’t know much about it. Like most I had merely walked it… however once it became my playground of observation, it feels familiar thanks to the people who welcomed the idea of sharing their stories. Currently I find impossible to walk Lower Marsh without saying hello to those who made Food4Thought possible. Local independent business owners shared their individual journeys. Food4Thought is a walk around Waterloo comprising of pins of interest along the street. You get to know the people, what they do, what Lower Marsh means to them, their aspirations for the neighbourhood, what and where they eat. Almost all shared their favourite recipe that can be saved in your photo album. Within a four week window, people behind the different outfits were identified and from their very busy time schedules interviews and filming took place. It took another five weeks post-production to finalize the content. motiroti wanted to launch MultiWalks by first releasing Food4Thought during the soft launch of Fantasy High Street as part of Waterloo Food Festival. Beta testing and fine tuning took its sweet time. DoTank Studios designed the user interface in a bespoke way. Each artist created their individual experiences within a common navigational wire frame and finally the app is here.
Much is shared and learnt from walking a city with people. “I see guides as alchemists… re-enchanting the places… an alternative to the uniformity of gentrification”, Phil Wood.
Food4Thought is by no means definitive in revealing the Lower Marsh. Like the map created from the multitude of grains and seeds, its allows a glimpse to the latent potential of each seed and it is yours to explore. Do share your views of the app and your aspirations for the neighbourhood. Your point of view is important.
And if you happen to be in Lower Marsh, say hello to the featured folks and give them a Food4Thought hug 😉