April 29, 2021

What Is The Future Of Community Halls?

Rebecca Milling

Photographs With Written ListsSpare Time, 2020

This project set out to celebrate the diverse activity in communal spaces which provide a safe sheltered centre outside of the workplace or home. How do we spend our spare time? From Line Dancing to Monkey Music to the Pakistan Society Elders Lunch Club to Zumba, the variety of clubs and societies that are formed, indicate how essential spare time is to our sense of self and well-being within a wider society.

I photographed empty community halls across the breadth of Edinburgh in 2018-19, displaying the architectural beauty of these often hidden spaces. Since the impact of Coronavirus, all of these halls remain closed. This project has taken on another dimension and is currently a reminder of how many of us spent our spare time together – it highlights the great loss that we are currently experiencing and questions what the future of these spaces will be.