‘Camden Alive’ launches in estates across the borough

The first stage of Camden Council’s ‘Camden Alive’ project is underway in estates across the borough.

Earlier this year, the council was awarded the Mayor of London’s Cultural Impact Award as part of the London Borough of Culture competition for Camden Alive, which will celebrate Camden’s history and diversity.

Work alongside residents on Maiden Lane is currently underway whilst engagement with further estates is due to begin in the New Year. Residents of all ages and backgrounds will be given the chance to tell their stories using augmented reality technology, alongside artists and cultural organisations, in what will become a virtual Camden People’s Museum of stories.

Residents will lead the project being involved in every stage to bring their story to life. In autumn 2019, Camden Alive will be officially launched to the public who will be able to experience the stories through a virtual reality museum.

The augmented reality culture routes will be created in partnership with London-founded augmented reality and computer vision company Blippar. The stories will also be told through a range of other mediums, including music, dance, drama, spoken word, poetry, visual arts and sculpture.

Councillor Jonathan Simpson, Cabinet Member for Promoting Culture and Communities, said:

“I am extremely excited about the ground breaking Camden Alive project which will give Camden residents the ability to tell their stories in a unique way. Not only will this project link residents with leading cultural organisations, it will also upskill and empower many of them to go on and use their learnt skills for potential future projects.

“Another significant aspect of the Camden Alive goal is its aim to bring neighbours together and strengthen the connection between our communities.

“Using their smartphones, visitors and residents will be able unlock the augmented reality routes and explore the thousands of diverse cultural and historical stories and places scattered throughout the borough. The project will focus on working with communities and residents who feel like they are too often left on the side lines in accessing mainstream cultural provisions in Camden and London.

“Camden Alive will serve as a great example of our mission to make Camden a better, more equal place, where we come together to celebrate the diversity and unity of our communities.”

Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, said:

“Camden has a proud history of great culture and is one of six boroughs to be awarded a Cultural Impact Award. The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture initiative is all about celebrating amazing art on your doorstep and Camden Alive gives local residents the chance to make their stories the centre of a virtual exhibition in their own neighbourhoods, through dance, art, spoken word and music.”

Ambarish Mitra, CEO & Co-Founder at Blippar said:

“We’re delighted to provide the technology for this collaboration. At Blippar, we’re strong advocates of diversity -- we’re a diverse multicultural company ourselves with proud roots in London and we’re excited to tell the stories of the Camden community. Augmented reality is a powerful tool for storytelling, as it bridges the physical and digital worlds, breathing life into historical sites and artefacts. We also revel in the opportunity to teach the local community a brand new set of skills, the creation of highly engaging augmented reality experiences.”