Shuttled back along the Old Kent Road it becomes a tree lined boulevard. The Heygate has gone. I am immersed in a holographic world, in a zone that is now ‘South Central’, ‘Mid Town’, West End and City. ‘Radical routes focus on the area’, the Elephant is the missing link. ‘Young professionals’ sit outside gently conversing in sympathetic tones. The translucent edifices of Starbucks and Costa become shimmering promenades.
The people in this hushed space feel a sense of entitlement. Their groomed heads and high end attire create a sinister harmony, immaculately and perfectly attuned to the order and sanitation of this ‘new quarter’. I am escorted invisibly from the central plaza, past the Eco tower in full bloom and the happy couples drinking champagne in the sky gardens.
Laura Oldfield Ford (2005) ‘Welcome to Elephant and Castle’ Savage Messiah
*image is indicative only
Louise Rondel is studying for a PhD in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths. She is interested in the relationship between bodies and cities, the beauty industry, sensory methods and feminist geographies.