TEDx Brixton Blog


Get involved in Robyn Parker‘s ‘The Chronicles of Brixton’

We’re incredibly excited that Robyn Parker, Brixton based designer, will be joining us to talk on the 10th October to talk about the journey she went on whilst working on her project, The Chronicles of Brixton which she’ll be bringing along with her.

The Chronicles of Brixton is an amazing kaleidoscopic image made up of photos submitted by the general public of what they would save from a fire. The image looks almost like a mandala, and only on closer inspection are you able to recognise the photos of different items that people have sent in.

For TEDxBrixton, Robyn will be inviting the public to once again get involved and submit their photos. So what are you waiting for? Submit your photos by using the hashtag #BrixtonChronicles on Instagram or twitter. Alternatively you can email them to robyn@archiemaclondon.co.uk – we’ll be looking out for the best photos!

We were lucky enough to catch up with Robyn to chat a bit more about her creation. Here’s what she had to say.

What inspired you to create The Chronicles of Brixton?

Robyn_Parker_ArtI wanted to show that there’s more to each of us than meets the eye. That’s what inspired the style of the final piece; you have to really look up close at The Chronicles of Brixton to see what it’s made up of. The question ‘what one thing would you save from a fire?‘ is quite a personal one. The answer can say a lot about a person, and often tell you things about them that you wouldn’t be able to guess. It’s about showing that no matter how we look at a glance, there’s more under the surface. We’re all different, but ultimately the same in the sense that we’re all human with our own stories.

If you could choose one image to represent Brixton, what would it be?

I think there’s so much going on in Brixton that it would be impossible to sum that all up in one image. For me, The Chronicles of Brixton represents Brixton to me. It’s a real mixture of things; – there’s everything from civil rights activists, through to musical instruments and tools for making, all layered up and coming together to make one slightly noisy, but cohesive image. The things in the image are so different but sit alongside each other to create something beautiful which I think is something that drew me to Brixton in the first place.

Why Brixton, rather than any other area?

It’s my home. I’ve only lived here about three years but feel pretty rooted, more so than most other places I’ve lived. Before I lived here I worked in local mental health  services and got to know a lot of people through the work I was doing. I’m a really curious person and love hearing people’s stories. Listening to people tell their stories is a really powerful way of being able to connect with them and I wanted to get to know some more of the people that I live amongst. In my mind, Brixton’s always been a place that’s welcomed people to come and set up home (something I think is changing and becoming too exclusive)  and I think that possible leads people to be quite open, and provides a real mixture of stories. That’s not to say that the same wouldn’t be true of other places.

The Chronicles of Brixton has given me a real thirst to hear more stories and I’m fascinated to find out what, if anything, would be different if I were to carry out the same project in other places. And at other times too. Watch this space!

What’s your favourite story or image that you’ve been sent so far?

My favourite submission has to be the collage of Barbara Jordan, the American civil rights activist that makes up the centre of The Chronicles of Brixton. Visually it’s a really powerful image, and the things it’s introduced me to have been totally unexpected. For starters, I didn’t even know who Barbara Jordan was before so it’s opened me up to a whole new piece of history about an incredible woman who’s massively shaped the world we live in.

I wrote a blog post about the artist, Jeremiah Drake, who created the image and let’s just say that lead on to some really cool stuff happening which had a really big impact on me. You’ll have to tune into the full story to find out more!

Keep up to date with Robyn Parker on social media!
Twitter & Instagram: @ArchieMacLDN or @savefromafire

Watch previous TEDxBrixton talks here