London – An Animated Interpretation of the William Blake Poem

22 July 2012


Would William Blake recognize the London of 2012? London was published in 1794 by Blake in his Songs of Experience collection.  It was a time of great upheaval – the French Revolution had just happened and London was feeling its repercussions. There was much social unrest, due mostly to the social inequalities of the time. It seemed that the rich were just getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

So, yes – it is quite likely that Blake would be able to identify the city and its themes – not only from the landmarks that still persist from his time but because so little has changed. This animation by Alex Robinson seamlessly transposes the poem over visions of an imagined present day London. As the city (or those in charge of it) attempts to fool the world that this is a city of shiny, happy people on shiny, happy streets in the build up to the London Olympics, this comes as a welcome relief. The city, as in Blake’s day, still has very much an underbelly.


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