What a month! I didn’t realise just how much focusing on one place would affect me. It feels both so much longer and hardly any time at all. I have walked, listened, talked, thought, drunk, eaten, smelt, heard, felt and experienced Llandudno in many different ways and with many different people… and yet feel I’ve only just scraped the surface.
It has taken me back to my roots, challenged my ideas of what Llandudno is, made me confused, welcomed, angry, sad, delighted, over-awed, foolish, caring, surprised, joyful and energized.
Llandudno is a multi-hearted, multi-layered place, a place of connection but also of contradictions and difference. As Rebecca Solnit says:
“A city is many worlds in the same place… it compounds many versions without quite reconciling them, though some cross over to live in multiple worlds”.
Working out how to do justice to the many worlds in one place is the challenge (and fun!) now. I wanted to create a “People’s Map”. It is clear to me now that this map cannot and will not be singular: and no matter how many maps I make, it will still be hugely subjective and selective and won’t come even close to describing the place adequately, and even less close to the infinite number of maps there could be.
There are already some maps to see: There’s the psychological maps ofColeg Llandrillo students, and individual maps of walks I went on with inidividual people. There’s also a map for monuments and one for personal centres. But these are just beginnings!
I want to map more of the individual walks, add more detail to the monuments and centres. And then I want to move on to make more ‘cross-over’ maps, hopefully with the help of a local cartographer, to explore some of the dynamic tensions and juxtapositions that lie at the heart of Llandudno.
I’m also exploring the possibility of longer-term collaborative projects and interventions in Llandudno including Llanddynes/Herstory (llandudno past, present and future as told through the stories of the women) and one on Llandudno as the Venice of the North (looking at the past, present and future of water). And I’m looking forward too, to a possible visit by psychogeographer, Phil Smith, who we hope will come and lead a walk, and give a talk. Perhaps by then, I’ll have something to show!
Meantime, I’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has taken me on a walk, come to events, spoken to me on the street, shown an interest, lent me books, sent me links, recommended things. And thank you especially to all at CALL, for the opportunity and the support and encouragement. It has been – and continues to be - a pleasure.