The Domesday Brock

On August 12th, Brockley Central readers and the Brockley Flickr community are asked to take part in a mass-observation exercise - taking pictures of the local area and uploading them to the Mass Observation of Communities Online (MOCO) website to create a snapshot of life in Brockley in 2010.


It's like Streetview, but instead of barricading our village to prevent people seeing what our garden gates look like, the people of Brockley are being asked to capture daily life in all its glory.

Participants are asked to take six pictures of a street and upload them to the dedicated Brockley Central page on the MOCO website. Communities from across the country will be doing the same thing.

If we can get dozens - maybe hundreds - of people to create a photographic database, historians will pore over Brockley for the rest of time. They'll use this record to help answer questions like "why did anyone ever think illuminated plastic signs on the front of shops were a good idea?" and "what must life have been like in the days when people were allowed to park lumps of metal in the middle of pavements?"

We hope it sounds interesting to you all and that as many of you as possible will take part. We'll give you a few reminders in the days leading up to the 12th.

15 comments:

Monkeyboy said...

Well the Internet shop with "Maplas Road" on the sign is getting a picture to confuse the historians

Ophelia Bottom said...

is there a map anywhere showing the geographical borders of Brockley?

Brockley Dogging Society (press office) said...

We've plans to construct a photographic database which we will happily contribute

Monkeyboy said...

@Ophelia, Brockley cannot be defined by a line on a map. It's a state of mind, a philosophy.

Q said...

Surely this has been done by Google Streetview..?

Anonymous said...

I've looked at the MOCO page, they are perpetuating the dangerous myth that you are not allowed to take pictures of people under 16 in a public place without permission from their parents/guardian. Not true.

Brockley Nick said...

@Q - I guess a couple of things:

1. Streetview photos are now a couple of years old

2. These photos will hopefully show our streets in a different light - details, people (perhaps no under 16s!) and angles you don't get from a rotating camera on a car's roof.

Brockley Nick said...

@Ophelia - map and debate on that topic here http://bit.ly/cnOkRE

lb said...

Geograph has also done this sort of thing very well already. This is what we've got so far.

Incidentally, here is a very useful guide to photographers' rights in the UK for those who're interested.

drakefell debaser said...

Sorry if this is a dumb question but, must the photos be taken on August 12th, and must our individual entry of 6 shots be of 1street?

Brockley Nick said...

Not stupid questions. The photos should all be taken on the same day - the 12th.

However, they do not need to be of the same street.

SamB said...

Boo, I'm going on holiday early tomorrow morning, and was hoping to contribute. Maybe you'll get six photos of Brockley station...

drakefell debaser said...

Great, thanks.

I was conerned that if say 20 people on Drakefell Rd decided to take part, we would have 120 shots of Drakefell Rd, which would lead to a lot of duplication.

TJ(O) said...

Sam B - I'd say Brockley Station early in the morning - with a few commuters scurrying about - and yourselves with your bags - is a good idea and captures a point in time

Tamsin said...

Would there also be a hard copy somewhere? For archivists to find when all the computers are rusted with their digital secrets locked inside.

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