Many years ago, a man passed by a wet piece of concrete. He planted his boot directly in its centre and stepped.
His boots have since worn out and the feet inside of them have travelled far from this spot.
He doesn’t know how often the captions of his boot print change. He doesn’t know that today his boot print banner reads “BRAVE SOUL“
The world is full of stories but it’s the people that makes the story. Every story is reinterpreted by the person telling it, and reinterpreted by the person listening.
Horas Perditam was an experiment in narrative play. On Saturday 4th of May we connected Threaders walking the street of Brick Lane with storytelling Weavers across the UK and all over the world. Together they created a Tumblr of stories and poetry.
Threaders and Weavers collaborated through moments of connection, missed meetings, observing what could have been. The threads may have been thin at the start, as fleeting as a passing memory. They drew us into a journey, pulling forth deep personal moments that in turn led to powerful stories.
Coney co-director Annette Mees and Ken Eklund had been thinking and talking together for a while about the stories and activities that spark relationships, encourage collaboration, evoke imagination and form lovely moments. Ken coined the phrase ‘Authentic Fiction’, which describes their shared interest in work that uses light fictional layers and emergent play to allow people to explore reality. Theatre, literature and digital stories can be the ways to explore the world and big ideas together. The audience responses may be within the story but reveal something about the real world.
Horas Perditam made some of this thinking become manifest in a real experience. We chose Brick Lane as a location because Coney had recently moved into the neighbourhood; because it has a rich history of immigrants, transient cultures, radicalism and outsiders; because places like Brick Lane are always complex social ecologies without a singular identity. We wanted to capture and reflect that multiplicity. We organised the afternoon to see if with minimal interactions and intervention we could a capture a place in time in a fractured way. By consciously using multiple viewpoints and perspectives, light filters and instructions, balancing on the boundary between fact and fiction, we invited the participants to make strange connections; between themselves, others and the things they saw. In this liminal space our wonderful cast of Threaders and Weavers together created a Tumblr full of the weird, wonderful, poetic, literal, musical, short, ominous and funny.
After this first experiment we’d love to do it again capturing a neighbourhood, a festival, a historic event or even a country. All these places can never be fully captured from one point of view or with one voice, but a fractured narrative told by many through many, posted to be revisited again and again, might come closer to some form of truth.
Horas Perditam set us on an interesting path of discovery. We have some great ideas for what’s next.
Your Journey Means This by Christy Dena
Horas Perditam by Ken Eklund
The Weavers by Ken Eklund
The Loom Becomes Our Voice by Laura E. Hall
Notes on weaving by Tom Bowtell
Tenuousness by Tassos Stevens
Curry and Ganesh by Mita Williams
From the Tumblr:
Many years ago a man passed from the Horas Perditam Tumblr
A pig like a ghetto blaster from the Horas Perditam Tumblr
Underground Cupid Society from the Horas Perditam Tumblr
She lost a bet she couldn’t win from the Horas Perditam Tumblr
Potential vomit from the Horas Perditam Tumblr
Hip hop in my right ear, ska in my left from the Horas Perditam Tumblr
We saw a tiger that jumped so fast he lost part of himself
Death at her shoulder from the Horas Perditam Tumblr
He took their face from the Horas Perditam Tumblr
Brick Lane on Streetview
Emergent Play – recommended by Hannah Nicklin
Games, Story, and an Extended Metaphor – recommended by Naomi Alderman
Do It With Others – No Ecology without Social Ecology – recommended by Ruth Catlow
Liminal – some thoughts and definitions
The Mass Observation Project