Voices From the Front Line

“Voices From the Front Line”
This is a multimedia arts and oral history research project initiated by Dr Sireita Mullings-Lawrence in collaboration with 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning for young people 13+ and 18+.
We are calling for submissions of stories and photographs from community members and art work from recent art graduates.

The Heritage Lottery funded project explores an aspect of Brixton’s heritage and the political and social history of Railton road. The project expands Sireita’s interest in capturing the narratives of those who once occupied the ‘Front Line’ and develops the work she began under Rendering The Real: Muted Stories. It continues the 198CAL mission, which is to advance public interest in the visual arts through an interdisciplinary approach, as well as nurture and support the career of emerging, under-represented artists and increase opportunities for young people. The aim of Voices From the Front Line is to engage young people, students, graduates and community members to collaborate in the production of a multimedia oral history project that will investigate this once contested space, beyond, during and after the 1980s and asks;

What characterises the spirit of the Road and what does the space now mean to the people who visited and lived on the street?

Please see the project flyer and overview below and get in touch if you are interested.


The project will draw upon a selection of 12 objects or archives that provide a direct link to the community heritage of Brixton with a focus on Railton Road. Young people will undergo the necessary oral history, archival research and basic research methods training to conduct a series of oral histories inspired by the objects some of which are listed below.

A poem by Linton Kwesi Johnson (Railton Road resident)

A piece of writing by CLR James (Railton Road Resident / blue plaque)

A piece of artwork by Rotimi – Fani-Kayode (Railton Road resident / blue plaque).

The First Child public sculpture commissioned by 198 CAL to the children killed in Soweto.

The Squatters Handbook produced by the Anarchist squatters of 128 Railton Road.

Once young people have drawn from these archives as a mode of elicitation they will then produce a number of creative outcomes such as an exhibition showcasing their process and the work they have done throughout the year.
This may include the following;

a) A display representing original archive material perhaps in the format of photographs,
b) Young peoples own artistic interpretations of the original archive perhaps through performance and visual representations and
c) Film footage of the oral history documentation which shares memories of Railton Road.


This is a year long project for young people 13-25. Participants can engage with the project as part of an enrichment program, work experience or internship. It will also be suitable for those interested in Multimedia, History, Sociology, Graphic Design, Photography, Film, Art and Design, Web Design, Creative Media, Performance, Curatorial Practice, and Archiving. If you think you may be interested in getting your students and young people involved, do let us know and we can give you a call to discuss their availability and answer any questions you may have. We also have an open call to emerging artists and community members with responses and stories of Railton Road. Feel free to forward this project and our details to those you think may be interested.


198 Contemporary Arts and Learning invites young artists or recent graduates to participate in our multimedia arts project and exhibition – ‘Voices From The Frontline’. Your piece will be a response to archive material that will unravel the histories of Railton road.

To find out how to get involved in this project and how to submit your work, please email 198buki@gmail.com


– Do you have old and new photographs of Railton Road or the Front Line?
– Do you have memories you’d like to share?

We are inviting personal contributions to our Voices From the Front Line multimedia arts project and exhibition in the format of photos and stories of Railton Road. Youth participants and young artists will engage with archives, stories and photos of Railton Road to capture and preserve the history, spirit and social significance of the road.

We would like you to help us build on the history of Railton Road.

To get in touch and find out more about this project and how you can get involved, or to submit your images and stories, please email 198buki@gmail.com