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About Us

Archives and news and other stories

Inspired by Southwark Notes, we have been busy scanning and archiving the ever-growing mountains of newspapers, flyers, council documents etc which take up most of our living room floor.

Why are archives important? Simply put, they set the local and wider historic and present contexts or 'narratives'. They show the similarities, the gaps, the difficult-to-explain local cocoons. They help explain why some of the people get so frustrated at times, or so excited at others.

What are the stories and the narratives? The first one would be that news should never be mistaken for reality. For example, too often the only references to young people in the news are as perpetrators or victims of crime. And, if all you get to hear about young people week in week out is that they go around knifing each other, you will be affected. And, depending on your memory, you may or may not remember how being a young person meant hating to get up to go to school in the morning, or how nerve-wrecking it was when you fancied the guy/girl from year above you, or how nobody outside your closest circle of schoolfriends understood you, or how you genuinely wanted to be able to breathe underwater, or how important it was to know what's in the charts etc. These are not news, but stories. As unique, important and beautiful as any other human story. And it is those stories that are real histories, real narratives.

The second one is that a lot of the 'contexts' are written to ex-communicate. Or, to put it simply, to exclude majority of those who will be affected by the written contexts. Our favourite most recent example is the council's core strategy (the key strategic planning document) which we just about survived last year.

Another one is that the thug is always the other. Every now and again, you will come across a headline or a TV news piece about 'thugs' doing something, which, again, if repeated often enough, will effectively alienate the 'upstanding' members of any community from the dehumanised 'dem bad lot'. Mixed community is what we do. They who are others do social cleansing. We bring democracy, the others are terrorists and war criminals etc.

What's in our archive:

The headings are as close to the contents of individual albums as we could muster. There are specific areas' albums and different themes albums. If you have stuff you would happily add, and have access to a scanner, scan it and email it to us. If you can't scan things, put it in an envelope and drop it off to People's Republic of Southwark, c/o Cambridge House, 1 Addington Square, Camberwell, London SE5 0HF.

Anticuts

Antiracism

Arts

Bermondsey (includes Rotherhithe)

Borough (widely covers SE1, ie Borough, Bankside & London Bridge areas)

Camberwell

Community

Democracy

Dulwich

Education

Elephant and Castle (includes Walworth)

Elephant and Castle concept masterplan exhibition (temporary, will be incorporated into Elephant & Castle once Lend Lease pdf document is published)

Employment (includes business)

Environment

Health

Housing

Palestine

Peckham (includes Nunhead)

Planning

Refugees

Resistance

Southwark Council

Transport

People's Republic of Southwark archive

In an attempt to both record that which is happening and share the information, we have started work on an archive of images (scans of flyers, leaflets, advice pamphlets and articles) of the material we have compiled over the years. The archive is organised by Southwark areas

Bermondsey (includes Rotherhithe)

Borough (London Bridge, Bankside)

Camberwell

Dulwich

Elephant and Castle (includes Walworth and Aylesbury)

Peckham (includes Nuhead)

Borough-wide, London and global issues are categorised by 'theme', ie 'Southwark Council', 'Antiwar', 'Health' etc.

If you have documents, articles, images etc which you think should be included, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The archive is very much a work in progress, so keep an eye out.

 

Walworth is wonderful

On Saturday 16th July, People's Republic of Southwark, together with many more community groups, took part in the Wonderful Walworth event at Pembroke House.

Many braved the rain to come and take part in lots of fun activities, from face painting to some serious knitting, card making, tasting the fruit juices and milk-shakes, to making jam out of foraged fruit, singing along with the Surrey Square schoolchildren etc.

You can see more photos on our new Facebook page.

For more information, please visit the Wonderful Walworth website. You can also download the booklet for the event below.

People mapping, part 2

 

Some of you may remember the people mapping art project I worked on a while back, where I asked the participants to complete a questionnaire about their immediate surroundings. Individual responses were color-coded, so that each participant had their unique 'DNA' pattern. If you missed out on this, please let me know and I will forward you the questions.
Part two of the project looks at us in time(s), and goes like this:
Pick a date, any date
The date can be absolutely any (for example, 1st June 2000), including a future one; it can be important to you, or the whole world, or nobody in particular.
What happened on that day?
'What happened' may be something you were personally involved in, or it could be something you read about – all that's important is the description is in your own words. You may choose to make something up, and that's fine too. You can say it in words and/or pictures, it's up to you (if you do choose to send more than one image, let me know which order they are meant to be in)
Where did it happen?
The place can literally be anywhere, from a specific street (eg Dean Street) to area/country, eg Hampstead, Yorkshire, Iceland. If you choose to make a place up, please give an indication of which existing place it is closest to.
The end!
 
What happens next:
Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as you can. I hope to present both parts of the project together, ideally early next year. All of your original contributions will be fully credited.

How we got here

People’s Republic of Southwark was set up in April 2008, with the aim of sharing information about the many inspiring things residents and community groups were doing around the borough in order to improve community cohesion.

In August 2008, we held the first Southwark Freecycle event, and, for the following 12 months, ran free monthly events in different parts of Southwark. The events comprised of swap shop, seed swap, info share stalls and a range of art and hands-on activities developed in collaboration with the venue hosts. The events were well attended and provided residents with a unique opportunity to network and learn. One of our events featured in a French/German TV programme. We also produced two radio programmes about local issues for Resonance FM.

In 2010, we fostered the development of the Southwark Planning Network, a loose network of community activists and community groups interested in local planning issues. The network leveraged support from Planning Aid for London and worked closely together for six months on local strategic policy documents (including the Southwark Core Strategy) helping to foster a number of areas of identified common ground between the council and community groups. The network now continues to operate mainly in electronic  (online) form.

Earlier this year, People’s Republic of Southwark was one of the groups who received an award from the Mayor of Southwark, in recognition of our contribution to the local community.

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