I’m not feeling overly well today, so I’m working on CCS from home.
My idea for the alternative souvenir is a CCTV felt brooch.
At first I wanted to do a postcard, but I realised a lot of people were doing them and I realised it was a bit too lazy. I wanted to get creative with this instead.
CCTV for me personally is one of the most outstanding things about London, and the UK in general. This source says that the UK is the most watched-over country in the world. I was really intrigued by the surveillance lecture. Before even visiting London for the first time 3-4 years ago, I knew that it was a bit mad about watching over people – no bins in central just in case of bomb threats, no signal in specific train/coach stations (again, because of possible bomb threats), and loads of CCTV everywhere you go.
Personally, I don’t feel like my privacy is breached by CCTV – mostly because I am not doing anything illegal – but I feel strangely safe. As a woman in modern society, I feel very unsafe by myself in big places with lots of people; last year a man tried stealing my phone in China Town (I noticed him taking it out of my pocket and told him off after I got it back), I’m terrified of going anywhere past dark on my own, and any shady looking man is a potential threat, even more so if he is drunk. Therefore if anything happens to me at any point in London, unless it’s a strange abandoned shopping mall toilet or something, I feel like the incident will be on record and I will be able to reference it with the police if needed.
You might think this is a bit paranoid, but that is the truth that many women in big cities live every single day of their lives. Lots of my friends have told me how they had to run from men because it was past dark and they were threatening them with sexual assault or just violence; I feel it is unfair when people say “I hate CCTV, why do we have so much of it? It’s invading my privacy.” Put yourself into a woman’s shoes. Think about what you would do if something happened to you, and you had no witnesses, and yet the CCTV was there to record everything.
I associate London with one of the safest places I’ve been to solely because of CCTV, and that is why I chose this idea for the souvenir.