Jacob Heath: If not time, what can the Empire Clock tell us today?

Scattered around Britain today, are publicly displayed relics of the nation’s time as an imperial-colonial state. Yet there are also relics on quasi-private display. This audio-visual essay engages with one such quasi-private relic, the Empire Clock in Goodenough College, through the concepts of time and temporality in relation to contemporary migration and diasporas. Using the following temporal categories represented by the Empire Clock: (1) “Time’s up!” and (2) Time’s stuck, the essay explores citizenship and deportation, along with asylum seeking, refugees and detainees in Britain. Throughout the essay, the Empire Clock also serves as an allegorical artefact of British colonial/postcolonial power.