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Brixton Uprising Commemorative Year 2021

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Brixton Road Youth Club

143 - 145 Brixton Road

London

SW9 6LZ

United Kingdom

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Brixton based, arts activists Tony Cealy and Chloe Osborne invite to attend an ‘ideas lab’ meeting where we will explore the potential scope of a large scale cultural programme for 2021 to commemorate/ celebrate/ consider the contemporary impacts of the 1981 Brixton Uprisings in its 40th year anniversary.

We will explore what a programme like this could look like, what we might be able to achieve together and who it might involve. The current aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide a lens on our contemporary experience of equity in the area

  • Catalyse collaboration between disparate, diverse grass roots organisations

  • Engage the changing demographic in the area’s rich activist heritage

  • Explore, discover and champion new modes of shared creative advocacy, enabling hidden voices to be heard and championed within the collective experience

  • Create 81 acts of exuberant defiance and incite future radical responses *

*reclaiming the word ‘Radical' by referring directly to the etymology of the word - meaning “root,” as in, “going to the root of the problem’ and embracing the idea of radicalisation as choosing to take it upon yourself to work towards a stronger, shared future world.

The community-led programme will ideally happen in cultural and public spaces across Brixton, be inclusive & accessible and champion social action inspired by collective research and artistic programming. It will provide an opportunity for our community to re-think the strategies of resistance and resilience currently being employed.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Albert Einstein, Physicist, 1879-1955


Proposed Process:

In order to effectively build a community-led festival in 2021 we are proposing a 3 year process of co-design, collaborative research & reflection:

Phase one - 2018-19 – Collaborative Research Process

[bringing community groups together to explore resonances, programming possibilities, fundraising capacities, ethical enquiries into potential creative strategies]

Phase two - 2019-2020 Pilot programme

[seeding collaboration between community groups, testing logistics of public spaces, licences and security. Testing programme ideas with real audiences, generating wider community ownership –including local businesses, schools, organisations in addition to the pre-invested community groups]

Phase three - 2021 – An extensive programme of activity inspired by the 81 Uprisings:

81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance led by the community for the community

A diverse programme of cultural activity across Brixton. Led by the community, for the community, this aims to enlighten, inspire, remember, forge new connections and opportunities to develop future shared creative advocacy, resilience and activist tools.

Drawing on the Inclusive, Artistic practice of Tony Cealy and Chloe Osborne, we are proposing a process which responds directly to the experiences of this specific community. This will underpin the community-led research and design process, culminating in the creation and curation of 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance in 2021.

These might include but are in no way limited to:

  • Public sharing of first-hand accounts of the uprising
  • The commissioning of new public art
  • Live Debate informed by historical research
  • An Uprising Human Library*
  • The creation of new theatre work, inspired by heritage research, for the outdoors
  • Presentations of artistic work created by Black Activists who experienced the Uprisings
  • New collaborations between local artists and activists in response to core themes
  • A photographic trail through the streets of Brixton to educate a shifting demographic
  • Performance provocations in areas of high footfall to reach non-theatre going audiences
  • Poetic protest – workshops in arts activism
  • Surrealist infused re-enactment of historical events
  • Creative Advocacy community workshops – championing marginalised voices
  • The Lounge – an interactive installation in Windrush Square – an outdoors lounge inspired by 80’s interior design, will provide an informal space for exchange and political discussion
  • Disruptions – Artistic acts of intervention

*The Human Library concept is of a library that lends people rather than books. The ‘Books’ are people who have experienced prejudice, social exclusion or stigma, and they are ‘borrowed’ by ‘Readers’ who can ask any question they like, to both learn about the other person and also challenge their own prejudices. The idea is simple and intuitive and is based on the notion that one-to- one conversations will allow a personal experience of sharing, questioning and reflection that can radically shift perceptions. People who have taken part in these events elsewhere have reported that they can be profound experiences for all concerned. Developed by Wellcome Collection – more info here: https://wellcomecollection.org/events/human-library

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Date and Time

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Brixton Road Youth Club

143 - 145 Brixton Road

London

SW9 6LZ

United Kingdom

View Map

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