Escape from the White City
The limits and possibilities of white towns and ghettos are explored by
Black Britons every day. The physically and politically restrictive effects
of racism are particularly apparent for the non-white residents of all white
areas. From Dover to Dundee, Asian, Chinese and African Britons find themselves
on the front line of the on-going struggle for the liberation of urban space
from tedium and fear.
"The streets look different if you're black", explained one West
Essex Asian youth to the LPA, "in a white town at any moment, anytime,
you could get attacked, get abused, for no other reason than the fact that
you look a bit different. White people have no idea how easy it is for them.
They don't have to think. But I always have to be so aware, so alert."
Such testimonies provide invaluable psychogeographical information on the
contemporary experience of social oppression. Such data could be used to
map the zones of racial hostility, as well as those of integration and anti-racist
resistance, within our towns and cities. They could also be used to sensitise
the established psychogeographical techniques of urban 'drifting' and 'diversion'
to the pervasive effects of racism on people's mobility and environmental
The most insightful researchers in this are would necessarily be Black Britons.
However, no-one should be excluded from such explorations. Indeed, even
the dismal testimonies of white racists could provide useful material on
the racial myths and boundaries that thread their way through every street.
Further suggestions, and personal experiences, on this topic are encouraged
Return to ELPAN 002
Return to LPA Home Page