- Ben Brooks-Dutton
London Sleeps: Christmas Day from a different point of view
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
“Wmse believe that London’s strength lies in its diversity and we, as the Museum of Londoners, are committed to telling these stories.”
- Foteini Aravani, digital curator at the Museum of London
What is the festive season like for all the many Londoners who don’t celebrate Christmas? And wouldn’t it be interesting to see the capital from another point of view? These were the questions we put to the Museum of London when we started working with them in late 2019.
That’s when we discovered Mohamed Mohamed, a British-Somali poet and football coach from south London who first discovered just how peaceful the streets of London were on Christmas morning back in 2010 as he cycled through the city. This moment in his life not only made a big impact on him but also captured the imaginations of thousands of social media followers, who shared the photographs he had taken of various unusually silent London landmarks.
As dawn broke last Christmas morning 2019, many of us will have been tending to excited, early-rising children or anxiously working out how long it would take to cook the turkey. Mohamed started his day very differently, though, shooting a short film depicting London’s empty streets from sunrise.
The film ‘London Sleeps’, conceived by The Unmistakables and commissioned by the Museum of London, depicts Mohamed’s now annual journey cycling through the “unusual peace and quiet of London” to a central mosque to pray. The film is set to Mohamed’s own original poetry and has been voted PR Week's campaign of December 2019.