The Liverpool Street Freeze was a few weeks ago now, but Denise’s post somehow got lost in the machine. Better late than never.
Denise Hicks writes:
Flash mobbing and its variations, such as ImprovEverywhere, have been around anecdotally for years now, but I’d never participated in one – believing that it was the preserve of the select few. Although there was an air of irreverent young trendies about the Liverpool Street Freeze, what surprised me was the inclusivity and breadth of the nature of participation. Alongside the BAPE-clad creative types with oversized headphones sat elderly women in mid-page turn of their daily paper, city types with briefcases stopped in mid-swing and construction workers pre-coffee gulp.
Preceding the Freeze was a strange sense of the anticipation of performance, but years of training on the underground have helped to perfect the art of being motionless and devoid of expression. As I stood, there was a strange sensation of being connected to the many people around, all with the same purpose and associated anticipation and sense of breaking the rules, doing something different, and yet you’re still anonymous to one another. It’s refreshingly uncomplicated in a world of hi-tech and complex ‘connections’.
While it would have been more poetic to end the four minutes as subtly and as nonchalantly as we’d begun, the Freezers couldn’t resist acknowledging the sense of achievement with a round of applause. Even for those of us who believed it should have ended in silence, leaving the viewers dumbfounded, we were secretly sharing in the celebration that for four minutes, we’d turned just another day into an extraordinary day and given hundreds of people something to talk about.