Developing a community led ‘Gentrification/Regeneration Policy’ for Brixton

Network Centre has brokered a small knowledge exchange project between researcher Jessica Jacobs and 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning in Brixton.

Brixton has undergone rapid regeneration, redevelopment and gentrification since the 1981 Brixton riots. Many of the impacts of this for local, long-term residents are controversial. Building on previous work with Brixton Housing Co-op and her own activism in housing cooperative movements, Jacobs will work with a group of eight local residents in creative workshops to articulate their experience of it. This will contribute to development of a working policy document for artists, other residents, and local councils that can form part of both formal and informal consultation and planning approval processes that accompany redevelopment and gentrification.

The workshops are based on the ‘sewing circle’ idea as an assembly of concerns, they will use craft-based activities such as collage and felting to help participants who are directly impacted by the issues at stake, to visualise and map gentrification and redevelopment in their neighbourhood as they experience it in their daily lives. Brixton photographer, Ellie Laycock, will facilitate.

C-19 has shone a fierce light on inequities inherent in our society – making it a particularly raw and potentially illuminating moment to undertake this exploration. Also in light of C-19 lockdown measures, the workshops will be held online, with a view to sharing the outputs both on and offline at a later date. Participants have been sent packs in the post containing all the materials they need to take part, and will also receive a small hourly fee in line with the ethical practice of 198.

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