Professor Esther Johnson’s film Alone Together: the Social Life of Benches screening within the ANDAR BAAHAR programme at Serendipity Arts Festival, 15-20 December 2022

Serendipity Arts Festival

Professor Esther Johnson‘s film Alone Together: the Social Life of Benches submitted to REF2021 will be screening within the ANDAR BAAHAR programme at Serendipity Arts Festival that takes place in Panjim, Goa, India from the 15-20 December 2022.

Further information on the film can be found here. And a shorter version of the film can be viewed here.

Through a series of oral testimonies and carefully composed portraits, Alone Together, the Social Life of Benches explores how individuals and groups spend time in two distinctive public London locations.

Made by Esther Johnson as part of an Arts & Humanities Research Council funded The Bench Project, this poetic documentary illuminates the thoughts and memories of frequent users of General Gordon Square, Woolwich, and St Helier Open Space, Sutton.

Revolving around the micro-space of the humble bench, the film incorporates contributions from a diverse range of visitors. These testimonies highlight themes such as the psychological feeling of being in a space, the rhythm and flow of visitors to a place, the importance of design for everyday street furniture and access to communal outdoor space.

The film acts like a stranger who joins you to ‘watch the world go by’, and to break the ice by starting a conversation with their fellow bench user.


Further information on Professor Esther Johnson’s work can be found here and on her University page here.