Londoners Reni Eddo-Lodge and Emma Watson are collaborating with author Rebecca Solnit and geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro to reimagine London’s classic tube map. The new public history project ‘City of London Women’ will redraw Transport for London’s classic underground map by naming each stop after a woman, non-binary person or a group.
By consulting with artists, historians, community organizers and others through an open call, the project aims to identify remarkable female or non-binary Londoners who have had an impact on the city’s history in some way. It will allocate them to each of the stations depicted on the London tube map according to their connections to a local area. Some of these people might be household names, others might be unsung heroes or figures from London’s hidden histories. The names might be drawn from arts, civil society, business, politics, sport and so on.
Attractively produced and packaged as a large poster map, this will be an ideal gift item that will find a place in museums and art stores as well as bookshops across London and beyond.
‘How does it impact our imaginations that so many places in so many cities are named after men and so few after women? What kind of landscape do we move through when streets and parks and statues and bridges are gendered … and it’s usually one gender, and not another? What kind of silence arises in places that so seldom speak of and to women? This map was made to sing the praises of the extraordinary women who have, since the beginning, been shapers and heroes of this city that has always been, secretly, a City of Women. And why not the subway? This is a history still emerging from underground, a reminder that it’s all connected, and that we get around.’ –Rebecca Solnit