Sheffield: Report from Making Space exhibition

Making Space: an exhibition of squatting, trespass, and direct housing action.

Union St Cafe at part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences. Sheffield, 5-10th Nov 2018.

Squatting, trespass, and occupation have a long and radical history in the UK which is often overlooked, dismissed, or forgotten; yet parallels and shapes the way we think about property and ownership. As we face a time of inequality, injustice and uncertainty; our ability to learn from past actions and campaigns allows us to better understand and contest the housing crises and urban inequalities of today.

As part of my wider Leverhulme-funded ethnographic research project into squatting, property, and the housing crisis in London, I increasingly found myself engaging with a number of different activist and institutional archives, to get my head around the history and context of these actions in the UK. Inspired by the Resistance Project – whose public archiving workshops and Resistance Exhibition have been incredibly successful – my aim was to work with activists, archivists, and collections in London to create a spin-off exhibition focusing on contentions around property and housing.

As well as working with the Resistance Project archives and taking part in their archiving workshops, ‘Making Space’ also took shape through the Advisory Service for Squatters (ASS) archives (both at Freedom Bookshop and Bishopsgate Institute) in addition to the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton. Other materials were also lifted from personal and online repositories – including photographs and video from Adrian Arbib, Neil Goodwin, Richard Hering (Vision.On TV), Phoenix, Morag Rose (The LRM), and wUK (UrbEx), in addition to data from Adam Elliott-Cooper, Jenny Pickerill, and Kesia Reeve – whilst my wider literature review provided much of the context for captions.

Article continues on original link with lots of pics and links

Zine from exhibition is below

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