Although pretty much everyone agrees that anti-homeless spikes are inhumane, heinous, and all-around terrible, nobody has managed to do anything about them — until, that is, activist group Space, Not Spikes chose to take them on. "What are you supposed to do about metal spikes that are, well, pretty darn spiky?" you may be asking yourself right now. "Even if you remove them somehow, the city will just put them back."
The key, apparently, is not to remove the spikes, but to use them. The metal spikes, placed underneath bridges, beside buildings, and other such places where people who are homeless frequently take shelter, are a particularly callous way of preventing the disadvantaged from sleeping in public areas. What better way to fight back, then, than by turning those areas back into places of rest? In a video posted to Vimeo and a series of Tumblr posts, Space, Not Spikes used a cleverly-built mattress to convert a row of anti-homeless spikes on a London sidewalk into a sleeping and sitting area. The group even included a library of books for users to peruse as they rested, because who can't use a good read every once in a while?
As you can see, the spikes along the Curtain Road sidewalk are pretty painful-looking.
"Living in a city, we bumble along from place to place in tightly martialed lines. We’re told where we can walk, where we can sit, where we are welcome but only if we spend money," the group wrote in a post on their Tumblr. "Anti-homeless spikes are part of that invention."
After the activists were done with their installation, the space had become livable again.
"Regardless of whether you own, rent, or even have a home, the streets are ours," they concluded in their Tumblr post. Even if the installation ends up being taken down, I think it's safe to say Space, Not Spikes has made their point.
Images: Leah Borromeo/Vimeo (2)