BBC Voices In White City

 by Martin Belam, 17 June 2005

On Thursday I was popping into the Tesco on the BBC's Media Village estate, when I spotted a group of people fly-posting furiously on the hoardings opposite. I snatched a photo, not sure whether I was witnessing an act of guerilla art or just a lot of the same illegal advert going up.


Turns out the former was the case - as this was in fact the arrival of the "BBC Voices In White City" project. According to an email that went around the building on Friday:

Extending to more than 100 metres, the artwork is made up entirely of 10,000 stickers – each one bearing a short poem. The individual poem stickers combine to spell out large, human-size words, which in turn join together to make the phrase ‘Voices of White City’.


The poems produced tells intense stories of all their lives: their connections, their conflicts, their pasts and their futures. The aim of all the activity was to create better understanding between the BBC and its local community, and to give that understanding a tangible voice. The additional innovation here is John Morgan’s wonderful hoarding design which invites passers-by to peel off any poem sticker they take a liking to and take it with them - so the words travel literally around the community.
Voices of White City    Voices of White City Up Close

When I left the office today there were indeed a couple of schoolkids peeling stickers of the wall, as the installation is intended to do.

Of course the real challenge is to work out how to peel the stickers off in such a way as to produce the BBC Voices In White City writ large equivalent of "OBSTRUCT THE DOORS   CAUSE DELAY   BE DANGEROUS"*.

Voices of White City - with kids peeling the stickers

*For non-Londoners this was a 'hilarious' joke scratched into nearly every sticker on the doors of underground trains which had intended to say "OBSTRUCTING THE DOORS CAUSES DELAY AND CAN BE DANGEROUS."

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