The future face of London

The future face of London

18th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Have you ever wondered what people might look like in the future? Photographer Mike Mike did and reveals what the face of London might look like.

What is the face of London, New York, Paris? What does a Londoner, a New Yorker, a Parisian look like?

The Face of Tomorrow is a new series of photgraphs by Istanbul-based photographer Mike Mike that addresses the effects of globalization on identity.

The large metropolises of the world are magnets for migrants from all parts of the planet resulting in new mixtures of peoples. What might a typical inhabitant of this new metropolis look like in one or two hundred years if they were to become more integrated?

In Turkey and particularly in Istanbul, situated as it is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, you can see how this process has been at work over the last thousand years as waves of humanity from Central Asia, Arabia, Greece and Rome have been absorbed. The resulting population is fairly uniform suggesting that if you could combine all the faces in a city right now you would be looking at the future face of that city.

The Face of Tomorrow
attempts to find this face by taking photographs of the current inhabitants and compositing their faces to create a typical face. What we get is a new person - a mix of all the people in that city. A face that doesn't exist right now, but a face, it seems, of someone quite real - almost familiar.

The future face of London 


Mike's journey of discovery began a few years ago, on a trip to London.

"Sitting on the underground train, I was intrigued by the sheer diversity of the place - Somalis, Indians, Americans, Zimbabweans, Scandinavians and a hundred other nationalities vying for their place in the metropolis. I thought "what is this place, what is a Londoner?"

A few weeks later I was in Istanbul and looking at the relative uniformity of the population I realized I was looking at the future of London.

A thousand years ago Istanbul was the capital of the remnants of the Roman Empire - home to an astonishing variety of peoples from Greece, Rome, central Asia, Arabia and the Russia. Yet now this diversity had coalesced around a mean - almost everyone dark haired, brown-eyed and olive-skinned.

And I thought if one could merge all the people in a place like London, one would be looking at the future of that place - one would have some notion of what a Londoner is or will become.

The composite face is striking in its familiarity. Having lived in London, both the male and female feel like someone I know - like an old work colleague or someone I met at he pub whose name I've forgotten.

Poster is available for download here.


Visit the Face of Tomorrow website to see the face of other cities around the world.

Photographer: Mike Mike
Assistants: Gianmarco Delre, Scott

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