Upon finding out today that my baby cousin got killer Alevels, I was reminded of a exhibition I saw last week at the Camden Roundhouse.
Penny Woodcock has teamed up with Block 9 (they’re responsible for that mad crazy club stage whatever thing at glasto) to create a huge installation in the Camden Roundhouse’ main studio called Utopia, with themes based loosely on the book by Thomas More.
Woodcock has basically spent the last 2 years walking Camden and its surrounding areas collecting stories from its locals.
‘There isn’t time or space to pay attention to the journey of another person; unless it’s a celebrity’ – Reuben
This struck me because it’s so true. Celebrity has taken over even the deepest places of our minds. Not necessarily just the famous, but our own quest for celebrity. Our own dark obsessive nature over how we are recognised by others.
Penny deals with these issues but also delves into the issues that arise within the different stories.
My brilliant fresh minded 18 year old cousin Lauren and her Alevel results brought me back to Utopia because Lauren got 2 As for history, an A & a B for sociology, and a D for health and social care. In one of Utopia’s stories a young man tells of his struggle for teachers to give him the opportunity to excel whilst he was at school. Told because he was in lower sets he’d never be able to do his Alevels, he’d have to do Health and Social Care.
Ofcourse there’s nothing wrong with Health and Social care, but to force it on someone as a means to spend as little time on them as possible is the issue here. I was happy with Lauren’s D. Because that D represents a new generation of young black women who come from the inner city schools of London who won’t allow there lives to be dictated by people who have made no effort to get to know them.
With the growing issue of jobs going to the upper classes and not those most qualified no matter their background, I’m surprised these kids even find the motivation to carry on fighting. I know I struggle with it.

Another girl tells the story of her transition from Uni into the real world. This constant fight to stand out amongst this forever flowing emergence of new artists, new talent.
Her facebook feed full of friends getting their dreams jobs whilst she trails behind, obsessed with her image, sleeping around to give her life meaning. Your 20s can be tough and social network only takes that pain and mother fucking multiplies it. We are all so self absorbed now and so unaware of what is important. I don’t have a clue.
But Utopia will tell you, as will my baby cousin…
‘There’s more to life then trainers’ 

Utopia is only on until the 23rd, it’s not one to miss.


2 thoughts on “Utopia

  1. So true, so many of my friends felt compelled to take health and social or child development just because they might not be a straight A student! One was even told that she couldn’t take French because child development would be a better option for her ability!!!


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