Friday 31 August 2018

Map of the Monsters of London (with giveaway!)

One not very well known fact about monsters is that they love cities. We tend to imagine them in caves and forests, but, really, when asked, most monsters confess that they quite enjoy the urban life. It maybe that they like window-shopping. Or it maybe because of their centuries-old fondness for buildings.

If you think about it, monsters really look at ease on top of grandiose monuments. Temples, churches, banks, bath houses. I guess they like to look down at us humans, walking on the streets. Some, you can tell, feel a sense of ownership of the building and look like they would do anything to protect it. Others know they were more of an aesthetic choice, so it’s another kind of vanity that you can read in their eyes. And there are some that look like they have been put there just to mock you. Or to make you smile.

There are very many of them, peacefully inhabiting our cities. You don’t believe me? If you live in London, just try looking around when you take a walk. I bet you will see at least two monsters that you never noticed before: on a big door knocker, on a statue in the park, to the sides of a gate. Unlike more rural kinds, city monsters really like to be seen. Actually, if you wave at them when you spot one, you’ll definitely make their day! We have decided to compile a map of the monsters of London, to see how many we can collect. At the moment, the map only shows the location of a tiny fragment of the very large family of London monsters, but we definitely hope to keep adding information. Feel free to browse it, to read the short news about our city monsters, to use it to organise monster-themed walks. Or, you could become a monster watcher yourself and help us spot city monsters in their natural  habitat (without disturbing them, of course!). You can join the Map of Monsters of London team by taking a picture of a monster anywhere in London and tweeting it with some geographical information (postcode or address) and the #MakingMonsters hashtag.

To the best picture of a London monster, the editors of the Making Monsters anthology will award an e-copy of their monstrously gorgeous book. Now, some simple rules to contribute to the map and participate to the give away

  1. Don’t forget to use the #MakingMonsters hashtag otherwise we won’t see your tweet!
  2. We only accept entries for monsters located in London. We will be delighted to see city monsters from other places, but they won’t be placed on the map (for obvious reasons) and won’t participate to the giveaway.
  3. If you don’t live in London (or don’t have time for an excursion) you can always send us a pre-existing picture, as long as it has the appropriate copyright and credits.
  4. What monsters do we want? All classical monsters like mermaids, sphinxes, dragons, chimeras, unicorns. But also green men, monstrous gargoyles, horned and goat-footed demons. And all hybrids. Yes, including angels.
  5. If you could add a couple of lines of information about the monster you photographed that would be even more awesome.

So, let’s go out looking for monsters! I suspect they are all excited now! Check the dragons on old buildings, the mermaid on the local swimming pool logo, the gorgon painted on an old vase in a museum. We are especially interested in all ephemeral depictions of monsters that are doomed to disappear, like graffiti or advertising hoardings.

P:S: We didn’t manage to spot a Medusa yet. Can you?

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