The idea to twin Oxford and Thamesmead was inspired by the discovery that streets and buildings in the Southmead Lake area of Thamesmead are named after areas of Oxford (see our book Thamesmead Project 05).
Unlike most twinnings, this connection brings together communities that are in many ways opposites – one an established and world-famous university city, the other, briefly famous for its bold architecture, and now struggling with social problems, high unemployment and isolation from the rest of the city of London.
‘Proposal to Twin Oxford and Thamesmead’ is an interactive display which was created for the exhibition ‘Oxford 2015′ at Modern Art Oxford. Barbaresi & Round paired up images of photographs, comparing and contrasting places in Oxford and Thamesmead. The maps tell more about Oxford & Thamesmead, contrasting Oxford’s close connection with surrounding countryside, with the dense housing and industry around Thamesmead.
The public were invited to contribute ideas of activities and events that could take place as part of the twinning.
Barbaresi & Round are open to the idea of taking this forward as a future project and would like to realise some of the ideas which were generated during the course of the exhibition.