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Verity-Jane Keefe has a vision for Barking and Dagenham, London, UK, and she’s throwing a Kickstarter for it. It’s pretty modest by Kickstarter standards; it needs  £7K ($9066.86 USD) and it’s assembled £4.6K ($7508.63 USD) of that total already.

The project is a mobile museum, starting from a converted mobile library van – but the project has a unique twist. Instead of arriving with its exhibit, it will build the exhibit piecemeal, tooth and nail, from the neighborhoods of Barking and Dagenham. In so doing, it will evolve into a story of the culture for this geographic region and its place in the wider Thames region. Archaeologists, archivists, writers, architects, artists, scientists, and local tour guides will all have a part in contributing to this experience.

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An idea like this is inspiring enough to make you want to jump right up and start a living museum for your own neighborhood. In Iceland, they have a word in the same spirit: “land-nam,” the practice of sanctifying a region by mythologizing it. While the Icelanders refer more to doing this with a new settlement, an area undergoing a big revamp qualifies in the same spirit.


The Barking and Dagenham area is in the midst of a major renewal. Old buildings are being demolished to make way for new, public art schemes have cropped up, and the general culture of the area has been sparked to progressive views of the future while still holding sentimental memories of the past. Collecting the culture of this place, made by the inhabitants themselves, will preserve not only the spirit of the place but the zeitgeist of this point in history as well.

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Keefe is a veteran bard of this borough. She’s previously produced two films about the area: 2008’s “Rooms with a View” about the Lintons Estate (now demolished) and the soon-to-be-released “Legoland,” about the Goresbrook Village area. So this is clearly her labor of love for this busy corner of England. To become a part of the project and witness the pluckiest photo of an artist ever to stand in front of a truck proudly displaying her driver’s permit, visit their KickStarter campaign.