Hinterlands: The Lesser Spotted

Sound design & mix by Rob Taliesin-Owen & Joshua Bilton

The 9 oral pieces here are an amalgamation of sounds and conversations with residents of Enfield Island Village and discuss local history, displacement, home and routes. The oral pieces are part of walk that takes you from the Enfield Island Village Community Centre to Gunpowder Park. Fragments can be dowloaded and listened too in relation to sites along the way such as the clock tower, the Lee Navigation and Gunpowder park.

In 2018 I was commissioned by the Canal & River Trust as part of a residency to run a series of workshops at the Enfield Island Village Community Centre that engaged local residents with the Lee Navigation and local area. The project title was Hinterlands, which I found interesting in relation to displacement and the site itself which is built on the grounds of the Royal Arms Factory. The factory was the birth place of mass-production in Europe and produced weapons for the Crimean War, Anglo-Zulu war, Anglo-Dutch wars, World War One, World War Two and many others. Within the village sits the Royal Enfield Arms Factory Clock that kept the workers movements in time. The factory clock has been running since the end of the American Revolutionary war in 1783.

For the 2 day workshop we spent time constructing puppets that could be camouflaged within the local flora along the Lee Navigation. The second workshop day participants shared stories and constructed spoken poems inspired by conversations with one another and their experience of the area. For the final day I took one of the puppets for a walk along the Lee Navigation, and asked people I met along the way to share a story with the puppet. The puppet was in this respect a form of starting a conversation as well as my attempt to simulate with a new place where I was an outsider and finally to allow those that took part to channel their stories through an alter ego.