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Reni Eddo-Lodge and Emma Watson are calling for more tube stations to be named after women

They’re part of a group who’ve revamped the London Underground map to pay tribute to women

Written by
Rhian Daly

If you look at a map of London Underground, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many stations named after women. Two are fairly obvious (Seven Sisters and Victoria), while a third will only be clear to those with detailed knowledge of Queen Victoria (Lancaster Gate takes its name from one of her royal titles).

That’s part of the reason why acclaimed British journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge is calling for more tube stations to be named after female and non-binary figures. It’s also why she’s got involved with a new project to create an alternative tube map where each station pays tribute to such a person. 

As announced last week, Eddo-Lodge, American author Rebecca Solnit and actor Emma Watson have teamed up on the City of Women map. The interactive and print versions of the map will officially be launched today – aka International Women’s Day – and will highlight some of the non-male figures who have had an impact on the city. 

Among them are the likes of punk fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Black feminist and journalist Claudia Jones, transport worker Belly Mujinga, and feminist organisations like Awaz and Owaad. In a piece for the Guardian, Eddo-Lodge explained that the names chosen for the stations on the new map centred ‘different values’ compared to our more familiar station names, which are often taken from men in powerful or wealthy positions (for example, Leicester Square was named after the second Earl of Leicester, Latimer Road was named after the merchant Edward Latymer)

‘This map celebrates women and non-binary people with deep ties to the city,’ she explained. ‘These are people who have achieved extraordinary things in their field, scaled new heights or served as the nucleus of social movements. We’ve tried our hardest to place each woman or non-binary person at a station that has relevance to their lives, whether it be that they lived, grew up, organised or worked in the area.’

She added: ‘This map might not change the world, but I hope it prompts you to take a second glance at places you might once have taken for granted, to imagine the lives lived by the women before you, and to think of the possibilities of what you might create. This map is a counter to any assertion that the city isn’t for us.’ 

The City of Women map was inspired by Solnit’s previous project Nonstop Metropolis, which, in collaboration with Josh Jelly-Schapiro, reworked New York’s subway map to highlight impactful women in that city. The London project will be unveiled in full tomorrow (March 8), with a print version published by Haymarket Books. 

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