This is a book about the joy of city life. The joy that comes from chance encounters, unexpected sights and sounds, glimmers of beauty flashing out from the grey and the rush of the everyday. The mix of people, shoulder to shoulder, sunbathing in parks, having a coffee, jumping on a bus, daydreaming on a bench. From this theatre of life, from this thrum of activity and private spots of solitude, can be drawn inspiration, emotion, memory.
Exploring the delight to be found in everyday interactions and chance observations, Look Here will chart an affecting map of London, navigating ideas of anonymity and identity, freedom and space (and who has access to these things), and community, while reflecting on whether the never-ending carousel of clothing we see on strangers holds some deeper meaning.
Wherever she goes, Ana Kinsella looks around her with a keen eye for small, illuminating details, and a love for variety and emotional connection. Look Here is a gorgeous, layered portrait of a city and its people, a book that urges us to slow down, look closer and find beauty.
‘I loved strolling through London with Ana Kinsella, noticing all the things she notices, what people are wearing on the Tube or at the Tate Modern, listening in on her chats with the locals, reading about the history of Embankment, the privatization of public spaces, or the pandemic passeggiata. And the shoes! A whole anthropology of London through its footwear. Look Here renewed my desire to get up and out into the streets of the city I now call home, but not without first practising that other great and under-appreciated act of joy and self-determination: deciding what to wear when I hit the pavement.’ Lauren Elkin