Latin American Memory Routes

Latin American Memory Routes workshops (2017-2018)

Aimed at the development of a second iteration of the Mapping Memory Routes project, in the summer 2018 Alda Terracciano and Prof Muki Haklay from UCL Geography department designed two workshops with members of the Latin American community in Seven Sisters, North London in the iconic Wards Corner Latin American Village. The idea was to pilot a new participatory methodology to elicit Community Memories for culturally diverse digital archives and sustainable cities. The workshops used a cross-disciplinary approach and connected with work carried out by Alda Terracciano in her role of co-leader of the Embracing the Archive cluster at the UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies.

Listen to participants’ memories in the People’s Memory Archive.

Visit the Mapping for Change online map here.


More information on the Wards Corner Latin American Village

The workshops were developed to gather people’s views on the development of a new iteration of the Mapping Memory Routes project. The aim is to make a difference to the people of Tottenham in North London by recording oral histories related to the iconic, locally listed Wards Corner department store building, an early-Edwardian construction formerly occupied by Wards Furnishing Stores. The store opened in 1901 and soon came to represent Tottenham’s smaller version of Selfridges and other grand stores of the day, acquiring a wide reputation for quality and distinguished service, and drawing shoppers to Tottenham. Apart from its architectural merits, the historic Wards Corner site has had an emblematic presence in South Tottenham throughout the 20th century, giving Seven Sisters junction a strong identity as a hub for business and trade, marking its transition from a rural outskirt to a bustling urban space. The store traded until 1972 and a year later was acquired by Transport for London as it sits just above Seven Sisters underground station. Since the early 1990s, part of the building has been thriving as an indoor market, and although there has been a wide mix of ethnicities since its beginning (including Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Europeans) the majority of the traders today are from a Latin American cultural background, which gives the space particular relevance to this community.

In 2003 Haringey Council earmarked the site for redevelopment and this mobilized a substantial number of local residents under the umbrella of the Wards Corner Coalition Group (WCC) raising media attention. The case is referenced in a number of official documents such as the London Cultural Infrastructure Plan, national policy decisions and consultation events as well as information from local traders’ meeting events, community crowd-funding initiatives and so on. This material shows the importance the Wards Corner holds for the local community and for more than 113,500 Latin American people living in London who identify the indoor market as their ‘Latin Village’. The case is emblematic the wider impact of urban regeneration programmes on local communities in Britain and their intangible cultural diverse heritage. A campaign to save the Latin American village is currently under way. Check details here.