Street of Ink

How to reproduce strident voices coming from pubs still murmuring in the quiet darkness? How to recreate the cacophony of printing sounds and the unique smell of ink that used to permeate the air of Fleet Street? This project seeks to provide a non-definite answer through the experiences of the people who used to work and live in this place. Today haunted buildings characterise the area, yet until the mid eighties intriguing stories happened in these streets, especially at night. Once considered the metonym for the British national press, Fleet Street has become the symbol of the fall of a communication industry; the shift to digital printing and a hostile political atmosphere deprived this place of its traditional role, of the workers and their anecdotes. Fortunately, the memory of the once “Street of Ink” is preserved in the words of the last generation of printing press employees.After having met and interviewed some of these people, four stories asked to be illustrated. Engraved drawings and the voices of three different narrators will lead the visitor-reader through the tales of those years and places, while a video documenting the past and the present of the area will be screened. Introduction by Giulia Damiani. Printed in the Royal College of Art letterpress workshop by Ian Gabb.

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