Brent – Summer 2019
THE LIBRARY AT WILLESDEN GREEN
95 High Street, London, NW10 2SF
‘Brent’s Journey to Justice’ was an exhibition created by charity, Journey to Justice and Brent Museum & Archives. Journey to Justice explores the US civil rights movement and its impact in the UK and the exhibition contained a number of stories from Brent highlighting local stories of activism and campaigns for freedom, equality and human rights.
The exhibition included objects from the history of anti-apartheid activism within the borough, the concerns of Brent’s Brazilian community told through art and a collaborative installation created by local families and artist Dima Karout. Local schools, Kingsbury Green Primary and Convent of Jesus and Mary Catholic Infants, were invited to collaborate with the project. Developed to actively engage children in how to advocate for a better future. ‘Dress for our Time’, by Professor Helen Storey uses the power of fashion to explore issues around climate change and the mass displacement of people.
The dress, made from a United Nations refugee tent was on display within the library. Elements of the exhibition could be found around the building.
For all enquiries please contact:Camilla.firstname.lastname@example.org
To see Brent JtoJ stories visit:
Highlights of the programme included:
FREE FAMILY CELEBRATION DAY
Saturday 22 June 2019, 12pm – 4pm
Music, Performances, Workshops, Tours and Talks
If you’d been at the Library on Willesden Green on June 22ndyou’d have seen scores of children working away creating placards and heard the Reggae Choir lifting our souls with ‘Redemption Song’. You’d have watched extraordinary moves by InSpiral Arts who then opened the floor to performer Sandra Bee and outstanding young dancers from the audience. You’d have rocked to the street moves of Yellow Dance Group and been inspired by the poetry of Caroline Smith and Virna Teixeir, whose devastating poem about displacement and mental illness is on the wall of our exhibition.
This was a family celebration of Brent’s journeys to justice and families came in large numbers. While children made badges, had their faces painted, had a go at punk fashion and added their graffiti touches to a Brazilian mural, they and their parents could learn about Professor Helen Storey’s stunning ‘Dress for Our Time’ created from a UNHCR refugee tent and visit the exhibition upstairs.
One theme of our Brent display is ‘Human Bridges’ – between the US civil rights movement and antiracist movements in the UK in our core exhibition, between artists dispersed across the globe by the Syrian conflict (curated by Dima Karout), with the antiapartheidstruggle in South Africa reflected in solidarity action by Brent activists and the scroll commemorating Nelson Mandela’s Freedom of the Borough, and – on a fascinating timeline – across the long history of Brent activism. Not far from the entrance, too, are clothes worn by one of the Asian women who led the Grunwick strike.
When the children paraded through the library holding their placards high and Rum Band’s wonderful music signed off this day of community and connection, it felt a fitting celebration of the importance of bridges between us.
Warmest thanks to Milla, Jana, Dorian and everyone at Brent Museum and Archives and the Library at Willesden Green for a memorable day.
HELEN STOREY AND SALUSBURY WORLD IN CONVERSATION
The Library at Willesden Green
Wednesday 31 July, 6.30-8pm
Artist and designer Professor Helen Storey, Artist in Residence at Za’atari Refugee Camp, will speak about the development of ‘Dress for our Time’, in conversation with Director of Salusbury World, Sarah Reynolds.
STORIES OF PROTEST AND ACTIVISM IN BRENT
The Library at Willesden Green
Tuesday 2 July, 6.30-8pm
Join us for a fascinating talk about little-known stories of activism across the globe, all with a connection to Brent.
Three extraordinary stories, each with a local link to an international struggle for justice, energised an increasingly excited room in Willesden on a warm July evening. Dr Rob Knifton described the work of Prof Helen Storey as artist in residence at Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, exploring how to create sustainable fashion in our time of climate emergency and the refugee crisis: in particular, her work with the Syrian TIGER* girls, creating ‘lovecoats’ for their catwalk in the camp. Sara Vivacqua explained the depth of the political, ecological and human rights crisis in Brazil following the election of Bolsonaro, and in particular the challenges now faced by the ‘Sem Terra’ landless workers movement and indigenous communities. Will Gee told the gripping story of his experience as one of the ‘London recruits’ pretending to be a tourist but secretly smuggling in leaflet bombs and underground material for the ANC at the height of the apartheidera.
The decision of Dorian Knight from Brent Museum and Archives to bring these three stories of activism together in one event was an inspired one. Given only ten minutes to speak plus time to respond to questions, each speaker packed a punch and the rich interplay of ideas and action threw up contrasts and connections between the three. These stories of creative and courageous grassroots activism left us aware both of the dark realities of our time and of how change is possible. At Journey to Justice we often quote Dr King’s insistence that the arc of history bends towards justice: the evening offered hope of this in the long term even when it can be hard to see in the short term. Three examples of ‘ordinary’ people standing up for justice in the face of apparently monumental injustice.
*These Inspiring Girls Enjoy Reading
MAKE A MANDELA BADGE
The Library at Willesden Green
Monday 5 August 2019, 2-4pm
Learn about campaigns to end apartheid in South Africa and the concert held at Wembley. Make a badge in memory of one of the world’s most famous political leaders! Suitable for ages 3+
DESIGN A SUSTAINABLE OUTFIT
Ealing Road Library
Wednesday 21 August, 2-4pm
Wednesday 7 August, 2-4pm
Wednesday 31 July, 2-4pm
Be inspired by the work of innovative fashion designer, Helen Storey, who combines fashion and science, to design an outfit that could against environmental issues. Suitable for ages 5+
Thursday 8 August, 12.30-1.30pm
Tuesday 27 August, 11am-12pm
Wednesday 28 August, 2-3pm
Come and see one of Brent’s historic treasures, an illuminated scroll from 1990 making Nelson Mandela a free man of the borough.
HISTORY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE CRAFT ACTIVITY
Destiny Hall, Brent Hub
Wednesday 29 May 2019, 2-4pm
Join Brent Museum and Archives for a fun family craft activity and learn about key events in Brent’s history of campaigns for social justice. Contribute to our next exhibition ‘Journey to Justice’. Suitable for ages 3+