Life Afloat

Photo: Katherine Fawssett

Just over 15,000 people live afloat in the UK today, with over 1,000 people living in floating residences on the tidal Thames. The first of these moored communities dates back to the 1930s. They proliferated in the 1960s and 70s as a cheap, alternative way of living in the capital. Although costs have escalated, the number of people living afloat has doubled over the last twenty years. However for many, life afloat lacks security and is a very fragile existence.

Until now, the story of living afloat has been largely unknown and one with no written account. Life Afloat draws together the past and the present through photography by Katherine Fawssett, film by digital:works, interviews, and archive research by volunteers from University College London, the London School of Economics and the Geffrye Museum to bring this untold history to life.