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Teacher steps out to ‘reclaim the streets’
Published 22/09/08

A GEOGRAPHY teacher travelled to Mumbai, Mexico City and London for an educational project exploring the way people look at cities.

Daniel Raven-Ellison, 28, who teaches at Langtree School in Woodcote, plotted walking routes through the three cities, stopping to take a photograph every eight steps.

He collected the pictures together into stop-motion films and collages for the project called Urban Earth that aims to ‘reclaim the streets’.

Mr. Ellison, who lives in Thatcham, said he designed the routes to show a fair cross-section of development, population and wealth of the cities but he only took pictures in the direction he was walking.

He said: “I don’t take any of the stock ‘tourist’ photos. I wanted to show the changing face of the city from ground level. Urban Earth is about challenging the way we see the world. We see most of our urban environments through the screen of the car door. This aims to show what the cities are really like and reclaim the streets.”

This year, the balance has shifted so that more of the world’s population is living in urban locations than in rural areas, Mr. Ellison said. He has given some film previews to Langtree pupils, who told him it was ‘wicked’.

He said: “Hopefully it will inspire them. It’s nice to be able to come back from a trip like this with a really good resource for education, to show that teachers are real people who go out and do real things.

“The next stage is getting the films and pictures online. Once everything is finished it can be a free resource for people who want to use it for education.”

He added: “I would really like to see people doing their own cities. It would be great if someone did Henley, Woodcote, or even South Oxfordshire.”

To see the pictures, videos and blogs, visit www.urbanadventure.wordpress.com

Published 22/09/08

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