Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering immigrant communities, housing, economic inequality, and culture. She also authors Navigator, a weekly newsletter for urban explorers (subscribe here). Her work also appears in The Atlantic, NPR, and BBC.
Wow, 2019, huh!
The women artists getting a much deserved moment in the sun at the London Transport Museum are far from the only unsung female heroes of London’s public transit system. Female workers have long been indispensable to the network—especially during wartime—but often didn’t get either the money or recognition to reflect it. They did not, however, always accept this treatment in silence.
Back in August 1918, for example, women workers at northwest London’s Willesden Bus depot went on strike after they were excluded from a five shilling a week war bonus granted to their male colleagues. As news of their action grew, 18,000 women workers joined them on strike nationwide, causing their employers to cave and grant them the bonus (but not equal pay) before the end of the month.
The London Transport Museum is hoping to unearth more stories like these of women working on London’s tubes and buses, and is inviting women, and relatives of women, who worked on the network to get in touch via their website and share their stories. Appropriately enough, they have called the project: Where Are All The Women?
Who are the unsung heroes of your city? Tell me all about it.
What we’re writing:
The linguistic debate raging inside Japan’s convenience stores. ¤ What the geography of gyms says about a city. ¤ Hey, remember when comedian Kate McKinnon spoofed New York City’s War on Cars? ¤ The time has come to eat roadkill. ¤ The demise of Casablanca’s slaughterhouse-turned-artists’ space. ¤
What we’re taking in:
“Goods in freeports are technically in transit, even if in reality the ports are used more and more as permanent homes for accumulated wealth.” (Art in America) ¤ ”I can only imagine the giddiness that Concorde’s earliest passengers must have felt, wiping their lips with a cloth napkin, sampling caviar, winding their wristwatches to Continental time.” (The New Yorker) ¤ Lady ranchers are taking over the West. (New York Times) ¤ Flush: A new French magazine about “toilets, culture, and society.” (Columbia Journalism Review) ¤ “The smallest of gestures reverberates in a city this size.“ (Curbed) ¤ A video game that offers a “slice of what it means to leave a life in search of another.” (Polygon) ¤ Life and death of the great African Baobab trees. (Topic) ¤ A show about a Korean grocery store contains “archetypes, not stereotypes.” (NPR) ¤ “I am sort of obsessed with The California Photograph.” (Popula) ¤
View from the ground:
@vickophoto brought in the new year over Montreal. @moosemeyers found a tree locked in eternal battle with its cobble-stone cage. @camilleammoun captured the white caps above Beirut. @birdonaledge journeyed through the magical forests of Washington State.