Brixton East – a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists

Situated between Gresham Road and Barrington Road and located in an old warehouse is Brixton East, a privately owned but accessible gallery space and labour of love from its owner.

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

Named Brixton East – perhaps after the nearby, long closed railway station – the warehouse covers three floors and has been meticulously restored and rebuilt to provide a fabulously large and uncluttered space.

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

I went along to the opening night of a new exhibition called ‘Bad Behaviour’ showing off the work of new and established Brixton artists .

Unlike some of the recent developments around town (I’m looking at you Brick Box), it was great to see something that felt really inclusive and open to the community, a fact reflected by the amount of familiar faces inside.

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

The owner says that he intends to open up the exhibition to visitors on weekends, and has plans to let more artists and local kids get involved with the space. They also hold big jumble sales from time to time and they usually happen over weekends too.

Brixton East had a bit of the old Cooltan vibe about it – and that’s about as high as my praise can get!

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

Here’s a few more photos from the exhibition:

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

East Brixton - a new art space for Brixton artists, south London

Brixton East is at 71 Gresham Road, Brixton, London SW9 7NS, just off Coldharbour Lane.

The current exhibition is set to run until October 30, 12-6pm Sat and Sun, by appointment 12-6pm Tues-Fri. Email info@badbehaviorexhibition.com for more info.

Please note that it is not a public art gallery, so your best is to pop by if you’re in the area and ask about opening times for future events.

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37 Comments on “Brixton East – a new art space for Brixton artists, south London”

  1. This looks really exciting, gutted that I seem to have missed the opening exhbition (going to email them to see if I can catch the last day today).

    I’m puzzled by your comments about accessibility. You say “Unlike some of the recent developments around town (I’m looking at you Brick Box), it was great to see something that felt really inclusive and open to the community”.

    How is a privately owned gallery that is only sporadically open to the public (and indeed was not well enough advertised for many of us to find out about it until way after its opening event) more inclusive than the projects that Brickbox have run? I’m not intimate with everything they’ve done, but according to their website they are “non hierarchical and anti-elitist”. They also say “By establishing our initial bases in working markets in south London (Tooting and Brixton), we were freely accessible to a diverse audience, many of whom would traditionally self-exclude from arts experiences.”

    I’m not necessarily qualified to say if they’ve successfully achieved what they set out to do – but if you feel they haven’t it would be interesting to know why, and I’m sure they would probably like to comment.

    I should declare an interest as I work in the same office as many of the Brickbox chapesses, and that the Brixton Pound has benefited from being able to run an event at their temporary artspace at the Angel, Coldharbour Lane.

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  2. Simon: Brick Box at the Angel was run like a private members club. The windows remained shuttered the entire time they were running the place – apart from the time Prince Charles made a visit for the benefit of the cameras, of course.

    They billed it as a ‘community’ initiative, yet there was never any local advertising and no effort was made to contact or engage with the actual community living opposite – many of whom would have LOVED the chance to get involved with their old pub. Not once did they get in touch with anyone in Southwyck House to explain what they were up to or to invite groups to get involved.

    Posh £40 a head ‘supper club’ nights were held for the benefit of their friends on events that you could only find out about if you happen to be following them on Facebook.

    Even if you did happen to pass by and notice something going on, they didn’t seem particularly interested in making you feel welcome – there’d be no posters outside and just the sight of bouncers by the side entrance. ready to demand some unspecified fee.

    In desperation, I even made them a poster which told locals what was going on, but that ended up being stuck up around the corner and lasting a week or so before disappearing for good.

    The Moorlands Estate opposite is in desperate need of some proper community arts ventures. This was not it. This was strictly for the benefit of the Brixton Village crowd.

    So yes, I am angry and disappointed. That pub has played a special part to the local community, and Brick Box’s time there was just a wasted opportunity and a sad indicator of some of the worst changes happening to Brixton.

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  3. A pretty damning critique! I hope that someone from Brickbox will respond.

    You still haven’t made the case for how an art gallery that is largely not open to the public is any more inclusive, however. Couldn’t this end up being just as exclusive/behind closed doors?

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  4. Maybe it will, but the huge difference is that this isn’t being billed as a self styled “community arts” venture, nor has it picked up any juicy grants. And it’s got windows that aren’t permanently boarded up too!

    It’s just a long term local resident offering his own *personal* space to local artists and the community at large to use. And it’s a lovely space he’s restored himself at his own cost.

    If you want to get involved, or have an idea for a project you want to put on there, pop along and have a chat with him. It’s that simple. I certainly am considering putting something on.

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  5. Well, you know me Simon – I’m passionate about Brixton and like to think that urban75 has done a fair bit to support local initiatives (like the fabulous Brixton Pound).

    I’ve got nothing against Brick Box itself either – their crepes are just dandy – but I think they got it really wrong at the Angel and might want to try and learn from their experiences. It could have been a wonderful asset to the community. Instead it was just a wasted opportunity.

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  6. I think that the editor is harsh but entirely fair in his comparison between brick box and Brixton east. Brick box have done nowt inclusive towards the Brixton locals other than SELL us relatively tasty crepes.
    Brixton East guys have been local forever and a day. Over the years they’ve employed loads of folk when they’ve been slammed. Now, rather then sell to some grand designesque knob they put their own cash into renovating a lovely building that will be used by artists, many of them local.
    What renovations have bb done to 354 with their own money…

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  7. I amazed at your comment in regards to BRICK BOX.

    It was not run as a private club .

    I live at Guinness trust I found out about Brick Box through social media I approached them with my ideas and they gave a FREE space to build a HIDMO for Eritrean Coffee .I am not middle class but local Ethnic who lived in Brixton for 9 years as result I have introduce my product and business.The guy who was selling Jerk Chicken and rice is again a local and he was given free space to sell his product on most events.TY who is a local Rapper worked behind a Bar and done an event .The Artists who lived upstairs were given the same opportunity to show case their work under the SW9 event with OPEN DOORS. Helen another Local singer .People like me would not even think of going to Opera or pay to listen to a poem but I did experience diverse of Arts for £5 .That what you call accessible to masses.

    I totally agree with you in regards to the local not knowing or involved but you can say that to every thing that happening including B.Village and this place .Just found out about you through FB just like I did with BRICK BOX. Did you or how did you involve the locals .Do you have poster outside? .Does it indicate that is Gallery ?.I like to know how you reach the local Artist.Do not tell me through social media just like the rest.

    As local I am very angry that The Angel with such History will be turned into apartments which people like me cant afford but than we local from Moorland and my estate didnt support it when it was a pub.

    Seek you should find is the Lesson we the local should learn .I am all for contrastive criticism but please do something different before you criticize others.Most local will not know or have time to make an appointment with your Gallery to view painting or it another place for Brixton Village crowd .

    Make it more accessible or at least be seen to do so .It is not different to having windows or doors shut.You can shut people in so many different way.On positive note if you really involve us the local than let us know how we can support by other methods.Wish you all the best .

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  8. Betie: I’m not involved with Brixton East at all, but they’ve got a jumble sale on today so why not pop down and have a chat with them to see if there’s any way you can get involved?

    The BIG difference to bear in mind is that this is a private property that the owner has decided to generously open up to locals. Brick Box has received thousands of pounds in grants and ran the Angel project as a “community arts” venture. I live opposite and never felt invited for a second. In fact, I never knew what was going on.

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  9. @editor
    I am so sorry Just read it again it sounds I am implying you are involved with Brixton East .I know you are not .All the questions were meant for Brixton East.I am so sorry you felt uninvited by B.Box Thank you for response and info in regard to Jumble sale.

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  10. I am absolutely shocked by the damning comments about The Brick Box. I am a Brixton resident and approached them in the summer about organising an event at the Angel to showcase emerging artists from the local area. They could not have been more accommodating and they gave me the space for free and plenty of volunteers – all local people.

    The event took place at the end of September. We ended up having over 25 artists from different genres performing over the weekend. We had jerk chicken cooked and sold on site. The event attracted about 180 per night. This was thanks to advertising widely around Brixton….and various Brixton organisations got involved and publicised the night – the Brixton Blog, Brixton Bugle etc etc. And we got a feature in Time Out.

    And to correct you….The Brick Box does not receive thousands of pounds in grants. They ran the Angel on an absolute shoe string and at a cost to themselves. In fact, I actually made the night a fundraiser for Brick Box…so any money left went straight to them. So serious is their financial situation.

    It is brilliant that another community arts space is opening up. Surely we should just celebrate anything like this happening in Brixton rather than criticising other initiatives!!

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  11. Brick Box CIC is a “social enterprise and community interest company” and they have been awarded grants of at least £125,000. These are just two examples I found:

    Brickbox helps regenerate Tooting Brickbox is a London-based community arts company that grew from a volunteer base. It aids regeneration through the arts by holding events from fashion shows, live music, performance art through to theatre productions and gallery exhibitions. It started operating in Tooting Market in April, having won a £115,000 grant from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund for a seven-month programme of events to transform the community space.
    http://www.drapersonline.com/people/mary-portas/act-now-to-save-high-street/5032128.article

    The Brick Box has received £10,000 from the Team London Small Grants Fund to run The Hatch project.
    http://www.london.gov.uk/media/press_releases_mayoral/mayor-meets-londons-next-young-entrepreneurs-he-calls-business-professionals-join-team-lond

    Sorry, but I can’t find much to celebrate about Brick Box’s time in the Angel. I wish I could. And I wish they’d clear up the mess they’ve left the place in too. Local residents are fed up looking at that mess of graffiti and tagging.

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  12. Hello All,

    It is a real shame that the Editor feels this way when the overwhelming response we had during our time at the Angel was really positive, from all the local artists, volunteers, audiences and the small businesses we supported. One of the previous owners of the Angel came almost every week to sit in the yard with our most regular (local) jerk chicken chef along with many of their friends.

    It’s also a shame that the Editor never took us up on our repeated offers to come and have a cup of tea and a chat with us, or come to any of the events. Below are my responses to the key areas of concern:

    ENTRY COSTS

    With regard to food, we did indeed have a total of three ‘supper clubs’ – all Brixton businesses – which did charge £30 – £40 for the FOOD. BUT the entry to the night itself was always £5 including on Supper Club nights. Most of the other nights we had cheap food (around a fiver or less) from local chefs including Betie’s Eritrean food / jerk BBQ’s etc. We did not charge any of these businesses to sell food at our events, or take a percentage of their profits. We did this to support local people in showcasing and selling their products and to create a good atmosphere.

    So….. the entry to ALL of our nights was £5, which covered the costs of our security, except for the final weekend which was £10 because it was a fundraiser. We also allowed local groups such as Brixton £ and Roadworks Media to use the space for free for some of their activities because we wanted to support them.

    FUNDING

    So, to clarify, the grant we had in Tooting was to run a specific seven month project in Tooting market that was funded by the Outer London Fund. The £10,000 was to run a different project at the same base in Tooting during the same period. I applied for these grants myself and they were part of a very competitive process and were not in any way easy to attain. One of the reasons we were awarded these specific grants is because we had run a six month artistic programme in the market prior to the funding period which we did on a purely voluntary basis, pulling in support from friends and contacts and working tirelessly for free, to achieve. Here are some photos from our first event there: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.214479251977362.50644.102357773189511&type=3 (as I say, UNFUNDED)

    The money was ring fenced for those projects only and did not fund our core activities or organisation. It was used to employ hundreds of local artists, workshop leaders and pay the core team (four people) a wage to run the programme.During the two years since the company was founded the core staff team have only been paid a wage during the Tooting project which lasted seven months. The rest of the time we have worked as volunteers. There has been NO funding of any kind for the Angel, meaning that it was run on a shoestring and did not make a profit or allow for the core team to receive a wage. We needed to charge the £5 at each event to cover the security, utility bills and other costs such as rubbish removal, cleaning etc.

    PRINCE CHARLES VISIT…

    The Prince Charles visit came about because ‘Business in the Community’ had been awarded a substantial grant and their patron is Prince Charles. We had received some free business planning support through the BITC programme so we were chosen as an interesting project for him to visit.We did not receive any of this funding ourselves. The windows were unboarded for the duration of the visit to allow filming at the request of the BBC, (see comment below as to why they were normally boarded)

    WHAT WE DID AT THE ANGEL

    During the period of the Angel project well over a hundred local artists showed their work in the space. Some managed to sell their work and gained considerable exposure and coverage, made connections and new collaborations. The vast majority of artists were from Brixton. Many local entrepreneurs sold their food and showcased their businesses. We were able to provide paid employment for many local people, including the bar manager, the bar staff, cleaners, security (all run by a Brixton based firm) , rubbish collection and sound engineers etc wherever possible. The core staff team did NOT get paid for the sixty hour weeks we worked, only an occasional one off payment for managing an event during the evening. We welcomed thousands of people to the space, most of whom were local, creating an extremely diverse and vibrant crowd.

    Here are some photos from some of the events:

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.346709468754339.81382.102357773189511&type=3
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.336961633062456.77997.102357773189511&type=3
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.334652389960047.77168.102357773189511&type=3
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.478435878844854.106465.300916006596843&type=1

    I could list each event in turn, the specific artists involved and the amazing feedback we had from participants but I think the photos speak for themselves. Do they really look like these events could have happened in a place that was unwelcoming, elitist and too expensive, with no local people there?

    As the Angel was only ever a six month project which we negotiated prior to its re-development it would have been impossible to achieve everything we wanted. But in terms of providing a platform for local artists and a place where local people could come and share ideas and get involved creatively (many of whom did and we are still working with in other contexts) we think we did a pretty good job.

    I have to be perfectly honest and say that of the hundreds of people we worked with and the thousands of diverse audiences who came, the only real negative feedback has come from the Urban 75 editor, perhaps best illustrated by the fact that he was the ONLY person who put an objection in to our premises license application. Local people who live over the road came to chat to us many times and had a look round, often staying for the evening as we waived their entrance fee as a special ‘locals’ benefit. Including the shopkeepers round the corner who came to many events. In fact the whole project would have been impossible to achieve without the goodwill of local people, the many volunteers and the Brixton artists who got involved, curated and shared their work. We are left with a huge network of people who want to work with us again, continue to support us and who we now count as friends. This has been achieved through sheer hard work, integrity and a genuine, welcoming approach. It is very sad that the Editor never experienced this. I’m not quite sure why this is, considering the many hundreds of other people who managed perfectly well to find out what was going on, get involved and support the project.

    THE BOARDED UP WINDOWS

    It was a shame we needed to keep the windows boarded but this was a decision we made as there had been several attempts to break into the property just prior to us moving in. We had PA equipment etc stored in the building but we could not afford insurance so unfortunately had to opt for a rather basic way of protecting our equipment – it would have been a disaster if it had been taken as events would have been impossible to run. However, the graffitti project we instigated, run by local graffitti artist Mr Dane along with Barby Asante of 198 Gallery, with some of their young people, helped to make something of the outside as Mr Dane involved local people in the art work. and many added their comments and thoughts so the windows were incorporated in this way.

    MARKETING

    With regard to marketing, we just did not have the money to print lots of flyers / posters etc but we did do occasionally when we could afford it. We relied on facebook and our website which are free. It was very kind of the Editor to design the poster which we displayed but these were very expensive to print which prohibited any reprints or other campaigns of that kind. We found that in the main the facebook / website approach worked very well in terms of getting people involved / audiences etc. But if the project had been for a longer period we would have probably made more use of other types of marketing.

    I hope this goes some way to helping to clarify the points brought up by the Editor. I appreciate that we could have done some things better. We are not perfect, we make mistakes, we learn and hopefully we progress, and constructive feedback is very much appreciated.

    We wish the new arts space Brixton East all the very best, can’t wait to visit, it looks amazing, and we hope that all Brixton’s creative endeavours continue to thrive!

    Eleanor,Barrett
    Artistic Director,
    The Brick Box

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  13. My name is Barby Asante and as someone born and bred in Brixton also a black woman and an artist, it’s just incredible to hear such anger from you about what’s going on in Brixton and in particular at the Angel when Brick Box was resident. I worked with the artist that dis the piece on the Angel. We were there when the guys from across the road came over and shared their stories about the Angel and commented mostly positively on what was happening at the Angel. Not only them but also the majority of people who walked past also had positive words to say. I remember two young “BLACK” guys stopped (and I stress that because I am concerned that underneath some of the comments you’re implying that these people don’t have a voice, which is in the bigger picture very true but that is not to say that they can’t speak, comment or have an opinion of their own). They were walking back from their friends funeral and were deep in conversation. They came over and spoke to us about the piece, about the pub, about how Brixton has changed, things they remembered about their friend. And on the nights I went there, yes there was security and that was what the landlords wanted after all its there property. There is an awful lot of development going on in Brixton which isn’t great for local people. I very much fear that people are going to be unable to live in Brixton, I feel it really deeply as I watch people I grew up with who would love to be here unable to stay as they are priced out of the place. I also work with an incredible bunch of elders who’ve made the place their home and are not leaving, their legacy in making the area what is today is not remembered and that’s another piece of work that should be done and is through many kinds of projects including a project that I am working on. I think though we all do what we do in what ever way to make our area a really good place to live for every one. Brick Box did what they do for a short amount of time in the Angel. They made links with people, created opportunities, showed peoples work, hosted people so much happened that wasn’t even visible and often doing work in places there is a lot that is not seen. I can’t help but think here that the issue is more to do with the developers than the fact that the Brick Box was at the Angel. At the end of the day artists need spaces and the developer provided a space for a short amount of time. The issue is about development and what developers do to areas. Are artists gentrifiers? Well personally I ask the same question of squatters who came to the area in the 1980’s and squatted roads with property that is highly sort after today, some of these people still live here in coop’s or some have even purchased those properties. Also students, green campaigners, who talk about local growing and their desire for the local Caribbean community to stop importing food and get wise to eating turnip curry, yes this was a conversation I was witness too. Also the communities that came here and lived in the shit houses as they once were and worked really hard to do them up to a livable standard so they could bring up families in the area. We have to question what gentrification is. The developers buy the migrant communities, the diversity, the alternative life styles, this offered an opportunity for all kinds of people who felt outside of the norm to come here and live because to mainstream society it was a cess pit of horribleness. All of this has been notarised and sold through the developers to the people who want to buy it! We also live in a really expensive place now, we live in a place where it’s not easy to make work. Personally I welcome the exposure to art that people like the Brick Box can offer. If it wasn’t for people like them & I can site Emergency Exit Arts in Greenwich who I worked with as a teenager and the Brixton Art Gallery that was here in the 80’s and 90’s into 00’s as being really important to the exposure of art to this community and also in the case of Brixton Art Gallery the promotion of artists from diverse cultural backgrounds and also lest we forget the incredible contribution of LGBT communities here, through the arts and also other cultural activities. There isn’t a lot of space for it now, there is no Cooltan, there are no squatted shops showing work and running workshops for children, but there are people trying and I think that Brick Box had a go. So perhaps the real people to have a go at are the people who allow the ££££’s of the developers to override the needs of a community and lest we forget that this is a diverse community with lots of different voices within it.

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  14. I don’t recall seeing these “repeated offers to come and have a cup of tea and a chat with us,” nor do I recall ever being invited over to any of your events, unless you mean turning up and paying like everyone else (if I managed to work out what was on, of course).

    Your excuse about the lack of local advertising is incredibly weak. How much would it cost to stick an ‘A’ board outside the venue saying, “Tonight! Open from…… etc etc”? Or even make a large poster and stick it outside? Or even post up for free on the urban75 Brixton Noticeboard like so many other Brixton events do? Or get in touch with the BrixtonBuzz listings site?

    The Moorlands Estate opposite is desperate for some kind of arts space and you made zero effort to get them involved. Why didn’t you think to put up a poster in the foyers of the block opposite or ask the Residents Association if they’d like to get involved?

    Rightly or wrongly, the impression you overwhelmingly gave was that you weren’t interested in those living nearby getting involved. Funnily enough my girlfriend – who shared similar doubts about what was going on – answered one of the calls for ‘local artists’ to get involved. She was swiftly turned down.

    Despite living opposite, I have almost no idea what went on at the Angel because you never bothered to advertise it. I think I saw maybe two posters outside the whole time.

    Your excuse about getting rid of the poster I went to the trouble of making for you is also very weak. Even if you were unable to raise the £2.10 it takes to get an A0 photocopy, you could have made one up for pennies by sticking A4 photocopies together. Surely that wouldn’t be beyond even the most limited artist?

    Re: the Licensing objection.
    As I explained to you at the time, the objection was put in place on behalf of the Residents Association who didn’t feel that giving you a near around-the-clock late live music and drinks license (8am-5am) every single night of the week was appropriate seeing as you face on to their homes.

    Perhaps if you’d made some effort to engage and explain yourselves to them beforehand that might have been different. Why couldn’t you have, for example, held an open day for the local residents and invited them by leafleting the block(total cost of promotion: approx £4 for 300 A5 photocopied leaflets).

    The boarded up windows.
    If they were able to come down for the visit of HRH Prince Charles, I see no reason why they couldn’t come down when the building was occupied at other times. Unless you didn’t want locals to see inside of course, which may have been a good thing because I’m not sure how some may have reacted to your ‘CUNT CRAFTS’ night.

    Finally – and I want to make this point really clear – I’m not personally against Brick Box or any of the people involved. I wish you well in your Brixton Village venture and I’ve eaten there myself and recommend it to others.

    My objection has been the way in which you ran the Angel, which represented a massive missed opportunity for ALL the local community.

    I’ve tried to offer constructive feedback from the start (which has been ignored from the start too!) and you are of course free to ignore all this or put it down to it being some kind of personal vendetta.

    But that would be a real shame because that’s never been my motive not the spirit of my criticisms.

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  15. All I can say to the Editor is that I think I have made my points clear and I am not sure if you have even read my response properly or looked at the photos I invited you to look at. As I said – the photos from the events surely speak for themselves, as do the hundreds of artists who were involved and the many who came, took part and supported us, including Barby, I note that you don’t bother to respond to her – a LOCAL ARTIST, born and bred in Brixton and hugely engaged with the local community, at all, but choose to continue pointlessly nitpicking about the cost of flyers and some boards on the windows.

    All the best!

    PS Interestingly, just as aside to one of your other comments, one of our volunteers was involved in Cooltan for many years and said our space reminded him of it which is why he wanted to get involved.

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  16. Ah, OK. So you are going to carry on ignoring my comments, and you’re not even going to try to explain why you didn’t bother engaging the community who live opposite. Oh well.

    As for drawing comparisons with Cooltan, well, that’s rather flattering yourself, I’m afraid.

    There may be one or two loose comparisons to be found but in the bigger picture, you simply don’t compare. The Cooltan arts squat was open to all, free, engaging, diverse, inclusive, political, exciting and didn’t seek the approval of Royalty. There’s a lot you could learn from them.

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  17. Interesting to see how *extremely* defensive everyone connected with the BrickBox/Angel is. All they had to do was leave their doors open at the Angel and advertise their events properly to the community, but they couldn’t even do that. Many local people just saw it as an exclusive middle class private members arts club – well, that’s what it looked like anyway.

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  18. It didn’t look like that when I went there AT ALL. When I went there the place was half empty and everyone there looked like posho arrivistes straight out of Shoreditch or wherever it they come from these days.

    I’ve lived in Brixton for 12 years and didn’t recognise anyone in there either. Where do these people come from?

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  19. @Eleanor – yes, the amount of ironic sunglasses made me think it was Shoreditch.

    The events I was aware of at the Angel looked more like this: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.296080590483894.68594.102357773189511&type=1

    And anyway, why the grief now? There’s been a 60-page discussion on this for over 6 months at http://www.urban75.net/forums/threads/angel-pub-on-coldharbour-lane-becomes-arty-community-space-run-by-brick-box.292936/

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  20. We have an opportunity here to continue for Brixton to carry on striving to be a welcoming and friendly community. The Editor of this blog is seriously mistaken in the belief in what Eleanor and her Brick Box crew offer. Seven years ago, I was sitting in a cell, thinking I’m 27, a Dad of two and not having much prospects to make me feel proud of my life. However, I have always had a desire to run a media company that would allow me to distribute films and publications that reflects my London surroundings and lifestyle. I am of West Indian descent and grew up close to Brixton during the 80’s and how it was then and how it is now. The look at the contrast that makes me weirdly excited and opinionated from the past for a huge amount of passion to feel positive about where its heading, which might make me a derailed fool. When I came out of Prison, my probation officer asked me “What do I want to now I am out of prison?”
    I replied “Run a media company that enables me to distribute my own productivity”
    She replied “How you going to do that?” I said, “I know” Then she said “Quince you’re living in a dream world” But something occurred without any thought, I said, “Dreams should be encouraged”
    From that time till now, I have become an ambassador of peace, won an award helping youths to achieve at the House of Lords, honoured with a degree in film and animation, Co Own a media company and introduce Prince Charles to the business in Brixton’s, The Angel. We help young unemployed people from vulnerable backgrounds. These are young people are in gangs, addicted to drugs, with all sorts of abuses, single with children, inexperienced and unemployed and NEETS. Roadworks Media provides training and work experience for those who struggle and lend a hand with developing amazing projects. I’ve been distributing films online for 6 years and in August we launched an online magazine at The Angel. Eleanor’s support gave acclaim to so many people I have worked with from the training and experience the business is able to offer. To say the Brick Box has not done their bit for the community makes bewildered or to slander their failings to engage with the Brixton community leaves me scratching my head with annoyance. The interest in Roadworks Media grew over the summer and I could not have got it if I didn’t come into contact with Eleanor at a few business breakfast meetings for businesses in Lambeth.
    In some ways I agree, Brick Box could have done more for the community but I think we could have offered them more insight to help them engage further. I hope that does not mean I am going to be criticised too?
    I hope you all can draw a line in the sand because there are loads of young people who could do with our help by encouraging them they can feel like they have a place in developing Brixton. That strives to be a welcoming historical multicultural epicentre of diversity and art.
    If you were not informed or felt isolated from Brick Box’s events, then I don’t think, what seems as if you are throwing toys out of the pram will not give you any positive feed back for the business’s relation with the community. Its destructive for the community and it sending a bad message. So
    I think we should all get together and talk about potentially forming something hugely enterprising and industrious for the community’s future.
    If you all would be interested in all meeting for a hot or cold drink then I would be happy to arrange a meeting for us all.

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  21. Hey, I’m really happy that you managed to get Roadworks Media up and running and that BrickBox were able to help you. It’s great to see such positivity in action and you should be applauded for your efforts – nice one!

    But… that still doesn’t negate the valid criticisms raised here (and on the 60 page thread on the urban75 forums).

    That criticism wasn’t raised out of spite or to knock Brick Box for the fun of it, but to hopefully to offer useful comments and feedback that they could learn from.

    Sadly, they seem to think that the points raised about a ‘community arts’ venue that keeps its windows closed, doesn’t put up any posters or bother to try to engage the people living directly opposite are worth bothering with and that’s rather sad.

    Perhaps if they’d made more effort to communicate, a broader understanding would have been reached all round and it wouldn’t have felt so much that they were operating the place like their own private club for their Facebook chums.

    I would have loved to have seen that place used by some of the kids in the Moorlands Estate, but most of the time it stood empty and boarded up, and that’s not my idea of a community arts centre.

    As for meeting up – yes, that could be an idea! I put on free events around Brixton and maybe there’s scope for us to collaborate.

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  22. @Editor, yes I agree with you but I feel it’s a malice attempt to attack against Brick Box as oppose to offering support and ideas to what they have been doing. No matter how you want to go about it, the Brick Box has good intentions for the community and is forever expressing how wonderful it is to amongst real people in a fantastic community. I would like for you all to recognise that Brixton 15 years ago never had people investing in the community like it does now. So to be able to acknowledge that today is humbling but exciting as we reach a period in history that offers so much more than what it once had. It just seems so unfair that you are attacking Eleanor because she is an inspirational lady and has turned to an iconic figure for me, which represents the community. To be fair, I kind of agreed that Brick Box could have done more but I believe they did what they knew best for them to be a part of Brixton’ s prospects. I am just hearing about you and I am wondering if you have done enough for the people in the community to tell them about how much you stand up for them. I think also, Eleanor reacted wrongly to you but that is a massive reflection of her passion that keeps her enthusiastic about trying to do her best for the area.

    Hopefully this can be put to an end and form a unified approach to help continue with the regenerative plans that is making Brixton so cool, trendy and fascinating.

    Eleanor is a wonderful lady and how she and Brick Box are portrayed on this block is a million miles from the person I know. Swallow the pill of giving her the benefit of the doubt and maybe look into the possibility that this is something being blown out of proportion. I bet you’re a great person too Editor and I think it is good to recognise you are standing up for ordinary folks in Brixton who find it hard to engage with its modernity. However, this is not the Brixton anyone here wants with middle class looking down on those who have live with the activist historic facts that has caused conflict.

    Let me know when you are having another event and I would be happy to come along. Gives me a chance to shake your hand and look at you in the eyes so I can acknowledge what type of soul you really are. Muhahahahahaha

    Have a good evening and thanks for responding.

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  23. @RoadworksMedia – many posters on urban75 tried hard to engage with Brick Box but they simply refused to take on interest.

    I tried to be constructive and positive and even designed them a poster that would help advertise what they were up to, but that was swiftly dumped because they apparently couldn’t afford to print more than one.

    We clearly have had quite different experiences, but I do find it frustrating that BrickBox just seem to ignore the concerns I and other people raised. Oh well, such is life – time to move on!

    I’ve got a night on at the Prince Albert pub this Friday with 20 or more samba drummers from the fabulous Barking Bateria (normally to be seen at the front of protest marches) playing live. It’s free all night, starts from around 10pm. Feel free to pop in!

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  24. ok since i met charlly i notice the coppers give me a sir every time i mee tthem seriously this is progress for me,an ex squatter rioter and psychpath who happens to be an artist,thanks brick box
    it was good while it lasted,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,as for all of the other anarchuists and punks………….fuk it u gotta move with the times ………………if i could avoid the issues of mexican druhg barons brazuilian assasins and the monarchs of london colluding i would…………now ive met a few at this great social event i know where i stand hahaha

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  25. seriou8sly……………….i hope to collude with as many people in brixton as i can ……eleanor and rosie are lovely gals have some respect urban u aint the only urban why not pick on all o the other bastads tryin to pick on our hood….like starfuks………….or a4e employment .as a local i seriously am challenged to draw a line between any of the people i meet and work with ,anyway……front line poverty line skid row……

    the greater wrong of the right………skizzen………brittania…………..

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  26. @Editor,
    I had the same feeling with BB,I am an artist who moved to Brixton 2 years ago because I loved the area.I have been working with children from different backgrounds in Kilburn and I wanted to do something like that here so I approached them but I didn’t have much response,maybe my proposal wasn’t clear,plus it must be difficult to make everyone happy.
    Anyway I would like to contact Brixton East,how can I do?
    Thank you for your articles,debate is important.

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  27. Hi Pia
    Thanks for your feedback. I would suggest calling into Brixton East over the weekends when they’re usually open. If I get to pass the building myself, I’ll see if there’s anything in the window. I do know that they were interested in putting on some events for local kids.

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