Voices From the Front Line
January 2017 – March 2018
Voices From The Front Line is a multimedia arts and heritage project taking place at 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, an arts organisation established in 1988 on Railton Road, known locally as the ‘Frontline’. Led by Dr Sireita Mullings-Lawrence, the project is engaging young people aged 13-25 from diverse backgrounds within our local Borough of Lambeth providing opportunities to learn new skills, be creative and investigate the heritage of their local area through archive visits, workshops, and creative activities. Voices From The Front Line explores an important aspect of Brixton’s heritage which is the political and social history of Railton road, known for being home to the Caribbean community in the post Windrush period and site of social uprisings in the 1980’s. Against a backdrop of increasing gentrification and social change the project aims to document the sites, personalities and events which have shaped the area and provide young people with increased knowledge and understanding of their heritage and local area. As part of the investigation into this once contested space, beyond, during and after the 1980s the project asks: ‘What characterises the spirit of Railton Road, and, what does the space now mean for people who visited and lived on the street?’
Voices FromThe Front Line draws upon key sites and objects from Railton Road’s history that provide a direct link to the community heritage of Brixton and provide the focus for a series of oral history interviews conducted by participants. These include:
The poetry of Linton Kwesi Johnson (Railton Road resident)
The writing of CLR James (Railton Road Resident / blue plaque)
The artwork of 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.
To see the process of this project and the work produced by project participants, artists and contributions from the community, please see our project website on: