Our Future Libraries, Duchamp & Sons

Over Autumn 2023, Duchamp and Sons, Whitechapel Gallery’s Youth Collective, has been collaborating with Kneed, Ishwari Bhalerao and Leonie Rousham, to imagine the future of ‘the library’, drawing upon the radical history of Whitechapel Library that once stood on this site.

Following months of workshops, conversation, walks, banner-making, and experimentation rooted in play and storytelling, the group built and shared their collective imaginations of Our Future Libraries.

As we move towards an ever more dystopian future with increasing state surveillance, the ongoing climate crisis, the abundance of propaganda, and the lack of time or space for play, care and conversation, we ask: what is the role of libraries? What systems of knowledge exchange do we need? What spaces do they occupy, what do they look, feel and sound like? What stories do they hold?

In their takeover of Whitechapel Gallery’s foyer space, the public were invited to join them to build upon the collections in our future libraries, to share ideas for resistance, have a cup of tea and conversations, exchange stories and learnings from childhood, or maybe even offer up your soul…