Gravesend, the Death of Community

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Gravesend is a small town situated in the borough of Gravesham, Kent. Developed by the metropolitan police in 2002 to simulate the environment of urban community the 300 square meter site was constructed in facsimile of an urban complex to meet the training requirements of the police with all the façade of human presence, except that presence itself. This surreal installation serves as a chilling account of the death of community in 21st century Britain.

While the global village expands, local collective identity and communication have dwindled, to the detriment of communal interest. We have estates, parks, nightclubs, tube stations, but is the community missing from Gravesend significantly more present in our inhabited cities and towns? Gravesend can be interpreted as a warning – a prophecy of society’s potential to alienate itself from itself, and kill its collective identity.

Photos by Chris Clarke, via Messy Nessy Chic