Memory Mapping

London-map-east-end

The aim of this session is to explore and understand the association between memories and locations. These activities give participants the opportunity to listen closely to an oral history recording, and map out an interviewee’s story.

You will need:

-a map of Lewisham borough – physical or digital
-a computer and speakers
-map pins and labels (if using a physical map)
-pens

  1. Watch the London Against Racism video of activist and former principal Ted Parker talking about The Battle of Lewisham, 1977. Click here to watch.
  2. Ted mentioned several marches and counter-marches. As you listen, make some notes about the specific dates and locations that he talks about.
  3. Pin points onto a map of Lewisham  to show Ted’s memory of the locations
    associated with the marches. Add notes to each of the ‘pins’ to briefly explain what Ted experienced and where.

Tips and tricks

  • This can be done on a physical map on a table or wall, with a group gathered around it.
  • If you don’t have pins for the map, simply annotate with pens or write on separate paper.
  • Explore the rest of the website and note down different London locations
    mentioned by the interviewees. You can build up different memory maps of London through the stories.
  • Other versions of this session could include recording the memories of teachers, parents or neighbours in the local area. The route of the final memory map can then be shared with participants as a ‘community walk’ or a ‘sponsored walk’.

Learning outcomes

This activity is suitable for learning about geography, particularly reading maps and
understanding how areas can change and interact with local people.

Another aspect is local history, as participants will understand that public space holds a history that is maintained through people’s memories.

This workshop can also be used for creative writing, as participants can write (or draw, etc.) their own accounts of historical events.

Alternatives

  1. In groups, discuss a journey you’ve taken through your local area. (This could be a one-off journey that happened on a single day, or a journey you take more regularly)
  2. Compile a list of places on your journey and write a brief summary about any strong memories, images, or events associated with them.
  3. Pin your memories onto a map, or create an online version using software such as http://www.zeemaps.com

More activities

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