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A song about housing/ gentrification, written by young people in Brixton.
In 2015, some members of our crew delivered free arts workshops at Cressingham Gardens Estate in Brixton. The estate faces an ongoing threat of demolition by Lambeth Council, with hundreds of residents facing displacement and homelessness. The arts workshops titled ‘The Art of Change’ included Theatre, Rap, Singing, Graffiti and Beatboxing workshops; serving to provide young people in the area with the opportunity to discuss, understand and come to terms with the changes they are seeing around them, in their community and at home.
As part of the project, workshop participants worked with local Rapper Potent Whisper to write/ record the song 'Make a Change' which discusses housing and gentrification. At the request of workshop participants, we went on to organize and facilitate a 'Youth March for Housing' for the young people. On 6th March 2016 young people took to the streets of Brixton to march for housing and, with it, their futures. The music video for Make a Change was filmed at the march.
This project clearly evidences the power of art, within the context of community resistance. Lets hope that this video, and the Our Brixton campaign in general, will prompt some of our valued comrades to become ever more conscious of the role that art can play in the revolution, whilst serving to remind other artists how much power they truly hold. After all, what creation could be more glorious or worthwhile than to create a change in the world that we want to see?
With the new Housing Bill threatening the end of social housing, we find ourselves at a very real and very dark dawn of displacement and homelessness for hundreds and thousands of people in London. In times like this, we face the realization that our political representatives do not represent our best interests, both as individuals and as a community, and we can no longer put our trust in our so called "leaders" who sell our homes to the highest bidders. Our very survival depends on our ability to organize in our communities, as friends and neighbours, to fight for our futures and the right to a decent, affordable home!
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released May 25, 2016
Written and recorded by: (In order of appearance)
- Outlaw (Spoken Word)
- Potent Whisper (chorus)
(Recorded at Jamm Studios with Claudio Lillo Vadalà)