My first thoughts on Square Mile

In which I feel a slight sense of panic and have some realisations about where I live.

I have a confession to make: my first encounter with the ideas presented in Assignment 1 ‘Square Mile’ were when I was reading course materials for the foundation course in photography offered by the Open College of the Arts. I was checking out materials, trying to decide if I should go ahead and sign up, and if so what course I should join.

The brief is to “make a series of 6 to 12 photographs in response to the concept of ‘The Square Mile’.”(1) Very simply, I’d understood this to be the patch you know well when you’re a child – although obviously it’s not quite that simple. So after reading a bit more carefully, I sat in the local tea rooms and noted, with some amusement, my initial response: Panic. Perhaps mixed with a slight sense of excitement along with the knowledge of a decision made in terms of if I should take the course.

The thing that came to me first was where do I do it? Where is home? I’ve never made Blandford my home and I don’t know it despite having lived here for 16 years. What’s more, it made it clear to me that I have no desire to know it. I’m not feeling good about exploring the square mile I currently live in. Should I take images in Ruislip? Northwood?  I suppose that in terms of my childhood Northwood makes most sense. The cul-de-sac I lived in was well known to me. But none of it really feels right, not like home. I realised I don’t know what home feels like. There isn’t anywhere for me, hence my wanderlust; it explains a lot. There are a lot of links in the course material with suggestions to explore them, but I feel I require time to process my own ideas before I take a look at how other people have approached these themes.


(1) From page 57 of freely downloadable course materials for the Open Foundations Photography course which you can find here 


Published by Sarah Cassin Scott


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