One Year On
So a year ago we launched 306:Living Under the Shadow of Regeneration at the Cressingham Rotunda, a massive 85-90 people attended, thanks to everyone of you. Thanks also to Paul Sherreard and Patrice Lawrence for support Karen McCarthy Woolf, and Tolu Agbelusi for bringing their poetic beauty and Yomi Sode our warm and welcoming mc. And not to forget the Cressingham gardens Residents Association especially Andrew Sherman and of course all the contributors.
The Cressingham book, as people now refer to it, is now on three continents; in the hands of academics, artists and activists in America, Austria and Australia. And now for the letter B… Though initially conceived as a limited edition after the horrific events at Grenfell, we felt it made sense to try and reach a wider audience; what we have in common is the experience of a community that are simply not listened to.
The book was reissued in September and is available at the reduced price of £5 (+ £1.50 p&p if ordered through the website.) Though there has as yet been limited time for PR it has had some attention and outings. And we are looking to arrange more. Any ideas get in touch; things like can we do a reading, hold a bookstall, if you have press contacts.
The book had a review by Sophia Akram in The Canary “A small community has now triggered one of the biggest conversations on social housing since Grenfell.” Contributors read at the closing event for Sanctum Ephemeral, the exhibition by by Mark Aitken, and featured on Art Speak hosted by John Flannery with Anne E Cooper, Sara Adem and Angie Hill in conversation and readings from the book, broadcast on three radio shows. Also Anne E Cooper, Tijana Vukicevic and Carl Molam read from the book at a screening of Dispossession in the Rotunda,in the 4th May which was part of the Herne Hill Film Festival.
Contributors to the book have been working with The Rainbow Collective, documentary film makers from the Ledbury estate. Tijana Vukicevic and Carl Molam have completed their shoot and the first two beautifully cut films were screened at The East End Film Festival in April. Other contributors to the book have been in conversation with Wandsworth radio about life on Cressingham, a project which is also set to continue.
Prior to the launch Anne did readings at The Morley Galley Journey to justice event, Reel News film shows and Brixton Bookjam, thank you for support on our journey. In fact none of this would have been possible with out your love and support. You know who you are, Many thanks.Plans are underway for an event in September about austerity, housing and precarity, get in touch if you would like to be involved and watch the website for details.
What people are said about the book –
306 is a vital, lyrical, funny and anguished document of a London community under threat of destruction. The voices here are allowed space to reminisce about life in Cressingham Gardens fondly but unsentimentally. They know where they live isn’t a perfect place, but it’s their place and they’re fighting to keep it. If you read 306, I think you’ll hope they win the fight.
Toby Litt, Author and Senior Lecturer, Department of English and Humanities, Birkbeck
A must-read primer for anyone interested in regeneration and its multiple effects. Giving an extensive voice to the residents themselves, they conjure up a rich mosaic of community how it is lived; in chance encounters; in a life that is lived both behind closed doors and in open, shared spaces. When the architect, Ted Hollamby, designed the estate, it was with family, community, outside spaces and quality of life for all, no matter what their income. To Lambeth Council, it may be little more than prime real estate, with a nod to the needs of community in terms of provision. The residents, and those who have worked with them to produce this eloquent book, show that Cressingham Gardens, and other estates at risk of ‘regeneration’, are much more than that: a place to call home, and worth fighting for.
Katharine Quarmby, award-winning writer and journalist
This is a marvellous book which perfectly captures in word and image how the dream of regeneration – as espoused by local authorities and the regeneration industry – can in the words of Anne E Cooper become a ‘living nightmare’ for estate residents. She and her fellow Cressingham Gardens’ contributors should know, since it is they who have had to live through the regeneration with all of its Orwellian doublespeak language.
Dr. Paul Watt, Reader in Urban Studies, Department of Geography, Birkbeck, University of London
Thank you for your support!
By September we had sold out of the first edition and were able to issue a revised edition with some important updates to the introduction and appendix. Overheads for this new edition are slightly less so we can make it available at
£5 or £7.50 solidarity price + £1.50 P&P. To order your copy go to the contact page and drop a line
A small community has now triggered one of the biggest conversations on social housing since Grenfell by Sophia Akram in The Canary
3 – 6.00pm at Art in Mind organised by SHARP Upstairs at the Ritzy Saturday 21st October, (this event is being run with the support of staff fighting for the Living Wage, therefore not part of the boycott which is ongoing info about the Living Wage Campaign here)
Contributors to the book will read alongside other special guests at the closing event for Sanctum Ephemeral, an exhibition by by Mark Aitken, part of The Brixton Design Trail, on Saturday the 23rd September 3.00pm more info the exhibition continues on the blocks of Cressingnam Gardens for the foreseeable
Watch this space we are in discussions to arrange more
306 will feature on Art Speak hosted by John Flannery on the 11th/12th/15th/16th and 18th November, with readings from the book and conversation with Anne E Cooper, Sara Adem and Angie Hill
Kilburn to Kensal Radio: ktokradio.com – Saturday 6.00pm 11th & 18th November
Identify Radio: www.identifyradio.com – Wednesday 15th November at 7.00pm & Thursday 16th November at noon
It’s also on Mixcloud available from Sunday 12th November
Images from Sam Mellish
Announcing the book launch for
306: Living Under the Shadow of REGENERATION
Let’s celebrate this unique book from Cressingham Gardens residents produced while facing demolition; the stories of how we are living and loving despite the uncertainties and fears caused by a decision not of our choosing.
Thursday 22nd June 7.30 – 10.00pm in the Rotunda Hall on Cressingham Gardens off Tulse Hill SW2 2QG
Featuring readings from Anne E Cooper, Tijana Vukicevic, Carl Molam, Sandra Moodie and Andy Plant
FREE ENTRY, BAR & BUFFET, ALL WELCOME
Though the event is free you may wish to book to attend as space is limited
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2080178492208741/
Transport: Train to Tulse Hill then take the 2, 415, 432 from Probyn Road or tube to Brixton then take the 2, 415, 432 from outside the KFC, either direction get off at Craignair Road. The Estate is left after the Tesco/Esso garage.
Reading at Brixton Bookjam
The Brixton BookJam is a FREE quarterly literary event that is unpredictable, eclectic, and aims to curate the very best in South London writing. From a-listers to talented unknowns, each BookJam brings a range of talent to our dedicated and passionate audience.
The next Brixton BookJam will be at 8pm on Monday 5 June 2017 at our regular venue The Hootananny, Brixton. Doors open at 7.30pm. Anne E Cooper will be reading Cresssingham stories alongside a host of local talent, see the full line up here http://www.brixtonbookjam.com/readersspeakers/
A Spring Fling
Open mike – bring your favorite poem or story and share it 2.30– 3.30pm 5/10 mins slots with special guest mc
UPDATE ON THE CRESSINGHAM BOOK
Book swap – bring a book. Be surprised what you find!
Puzzles and word games
With lyrical music from local singer song writer Paula Wichall
Saturday 29th April 2.00 – 4.30pm
Free – ALL WELCOME
Anne will be carrying out interviews with Cressingham residents over the next few weeks in March, get in touch if you want to be involved even if it’s just to make a short comment or statement – your views matter.
Reading at Reel News
Thursday 9th February 2017, 7.30pm – 11.30pm
Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, London, N17 6QN
The first Reel News night of the year with films, discussion, music and chat until late at a new venue, Tottenham Chances. Film and discussion will cover estate demolition, low pay and the emerging women’s movement in Chicago. There will be a film of the dispute of UNITE Mixed Fleet branch with chair Nick Giannissis giving an update for the cabin crew, who will be in the middle of a new wave of strike action. Plus a screening of the Save Cressingham Gardens film and Paul Burnham from Defend Council Housing will give an update on the situation in Haringey; the marches, demos and meetings organised for this month. Writer-in-residence Anne E Cooper will be reading alongside Cressingham Gardens activists. FREE admission
Creative Writing Workshops taking place Tuesday evenings 7.00pm -9.00pm from January 12th to February 28th 2017 from 7.00pm – 9.00pm
The workshops will explore our feelings about home and community and use exercises designed to enable you to write more freely. They will take place in a friendly supportive atmosphere. There will be an emphasis on editing your work in these sessions. This is an opportunity to share your memories and express yourself and if you wish have your writing published in a book. No experience necessary. all materials provided. All workshops are FREE.
All workshops will be held at the Rotunda, Cressingham Gardens.
Reading at Journey to Justice
Wed 25 January 2017, 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Morley Gallery, 61 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7HT
Panel discussion on grassroots activism with Tom Keene, from Save Cressingham Gardens; Kiv Legate from Ritzy Living Wage and local activist, Devon Thomas from Lambeth Business Advisory and who helped found the first Black Youth Club in the 1950s. This event will explore the impact of these campaigns and the ways in which they have gained public support and it will include a reading from Cressingham Gardens writer-in- residence Anne E Cooper. The event runs alongside the touring exhibition Journey to Justice at Morley Gallery, which aims to inspire and empower people to take action for social justice. FREE admission
Creative Writing Workshops taking place Tuesday evenings 7.00pm -9.00pm from October 25th to December 13th 2016 from 7.00pm – 9.00pm
The workshops will explore our feelings about home and community and use exercises designed to enable you to write more freely. They will take place in a friendly supportive atmosphere. This is an opportunity to share your memories and express yourself and if you wish have your writing published in a book. No experience necessary. all materials provided. All workshops are FREE.
All workshops will be held at the Rotunda, Cressingham Gardens.
Celebrate the launch of Cressingham Voices
How Can I Dot The i With Humanity?*
*From The Thing Written by Stanley Moss
Join us to celebrate the power of words at this pop up event with
Special guests Potent Whisper and Anna Robinson
Q&A with writer-in-residence Anne E Cooper
Readings from residents
Word games and fun for all the family
Tuesday 11th October 2016
7.00pm – 9.30pm in the Rotunda, Cressingham Gardens
ALL WELCOME FREE ADMISSION
Cressingham Voices open for business in the Rotunda, Cressingham Gardens, at Open House London, the capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design. Come down and talk to the writer-in-residence, find out about the project and creative writing taster workshop at 2-3.30pm, 17th September 2016. No experience necessary. No need to book to attend, just show up. All welcome. All materials provided. Explore, create, enjoy!
Live interactive creative writing activity as part of The Smallness Inside The Bigness: Changing Visions On Cressingham Gardens, a roving, site specific, verbatim piece of theatre involving residents from the estate and beyond, devised by Degenerate Space, part of the Anti University Now festival.
7 June 2016 at 19:30 and 9 June 2016 at 20:30 at meet at the Rotunda 15 minutes before the performance time, Cressingham Gardens, SW2 London