Photography and Lewisham Way Youth and Community Centre

Lewisham Way Youth and Community Centre’s social networks pre-empt Instagram. From 1974 – 2016 this open, decentralized community, operates augmented reality tools in the first instance.

The nature of this community space remains necessarily complex – a multiplicity with flows and intensities which would risk misrepresentation or misactivation within the singularity of a generic ‘offer’, or retrospective ‘community…’ representation.

In 1977 John Goto made a series of photographic portraits of young British African-Caribbeans at Lewisham Way Youth and Community Centre, where he taught evening classes in photography.

Images courtesy of John Goto, 1977

John Goto’s photographs demonstrate a form of photography based on non-reciprocity that do not follow the logic of representation, but rather the logic of mutual specification, by specifying what a subject, in this space, could be.

This space enables meaningful participation through complimentary and interconnected networks and social bonds, without extracting such use as content, or social incantation.

In 2017 House of Noise Ltd. made a series of Instagram posts documenting their Directors as they converted Lewisham Way Youth and Community Centre into offices for their Media Company.

Images courtesy of Instagram / Honesty Space, 2017

Here, photography has nothing to do with meaning. It has more to do with land surveying or cartography. For example, the mapping of corporate assets or incanting a pre-determined community-yet-to-be.

In these enclosed social spaces, community is a dogmatic taxonomy, applied to anything within a closed, corporate structure. Avatars for ‘creative space’, overwrite and reissue the community conditions.

Here, a pre-subscribed ‘community-yet-to-be’ is incanted retrospectively. Predicated on the liquidation of a Youth and Community Centre of over 40 years, supported by Lewisham Planning.


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