Important cracks

important_cracks_Louise_Downe_2013This is spit. Red spit to be precise.

Its a feature of many cities, created by chewing a mixture of tobacco and highly coloured spices.

I’ve noticed it in Bethnal Green for years, knowing it was a by product of the local Asian community that live here without knowing how, why or thinking much of it, until I saw a corner much like this one on the edge of covent garden.

Not unremarkable, however, at the time I had no idea where I was. Until I saw red spit and realised without thinking, that I was near to a place with an Asian population. I must be near Covent Garden.

Tracking though cultural presence, or using the traces of people as a map are familiar ways of navigating, what’s strange was how at home I felt the moment I saw this this corner in Dubai last month. Cracks are important as a space without function that can be filled. A crack can become anything, even a bridge.