In My Footsteps is an interaction between people and place - combining local history and heritage with communal culture and personal identity.
First piloted in London’s East End – Whitechapel, Limehouse and Poplar – it has engaged local residents, young and old, in living-heritage activities: unearthing, highlighting and celebrating fresh ‘takes’ on particular places that matter to them.
Working with museums, local historians, community groups, and creative facilitators, participants from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds have become, in effect, ‘neighbourhood-curators'.
They began by going out and about on walking tours guided by historians, visiting places of interest and learning new things about their neighbourhoods. They honed in on selected personal landmarks and stories, anchored in their sense of belonging; researched online and visited the local library and archives for images and precious information about the past. They then wrote up and recorded their stories and commentaries, incorporating photographs and videos they (or in some cases the project team) had taken of their chosen landmarks and places. They used sound, spoken word and even poetry.
Through this process, they created their own trails - mini walking tours, guiding us through fascinating journeys of discovery, imaginatively weaving together personal stories and reminiscences with official history records. Thanks to this bespoke mobile application, In My Footsteps has collected and conserved these fascinating trails so that others can explore them, virtually as well as for real.