Finding Stories - London's Lost Dead Poster Project

  • Shannon Johnston Howes

As part of a final year university project looking at archives and and uncovering untold stories, I created a tripych of posters related to lost burial grounds in London. Originally inspired by Crossbones Graveyards, the project eventually expanded to encompass more burial grounds within the city that have changed beyond recognition. The aim of the posters is to give a gravestone to the dead who don't have one of their own. It eventually evolved with the aim to encourage people to be more present, more conscious of their surroundings, and to seek out stories for themselves. They were intended to be displayed at relevant sites - Crossbones Graveyard, Altab Ali Park, and the lone burial of a Roman Girl at the Gherkin, to name a few - but the COVID-19 lockdown measured prevented this final display from happening. Additionally, the lockdown resulted in the closing of the university campus, so my production methods for the project changed; originally indended to be lino-printed on riso-printed maps, the final designs are digitally composed with scans of painted tile gravestones.