Kensington Stories

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Workshops are for 13 – 25 year olds, are free, and run from 16/09/17 – 14/07/18 on Saturdays 12pm – 5pm (matching most school timetables). Sign up here

SPID’s next Heritage project is Kensington Stories. While we normally focus our Heritage projects on a single listed housing estate, in light of recent events with Grenfell, which will now go down in history, we are opening up the project to explore social housing throughout the whole of Kensington & Chelsea. The project will explore the heritage of West London’s social housing and the stories within the area. We are based in one of those estates, Kensal House, which is a Grade II* listed building comprising of 2 blocks. This historic estate was designed 80 years ago by the renowned architect Maxwell Fry, with social reformer Elizabeth Denby, and will act as our base for the project. Kensal House itself has become a well known symbol of Modernist architecture.

A group of 15 young participants living in the Kensington area and neighboring boroughs will work with residents of these estates throughout each of the project’s three stages. The heritage of the buildings and their social impact in the community will be explored through detailed research, the recording of oral history testimonies, the development of a film, the creation of a radio show and a guided performance tour. Kensington Stories will be supported by the Twentieth Century Society, Westway Trust and the North and Central Kensington Libraries.

In Block 1, young people will create a documentary film exploring social housing estates in Kensington, which will be shot on location. During these weeks the young people will be encouraged to form a company identity and have a sense of ownership of both the project and the heritage of these estates. Workshops from the Oral History Society will teach them interview skills, while looking at the history of these estates will develop their research skills.

In Block 2, the young people will create and perform a live radio show. The programme, lasting up to 45 minutes, will be written by the young people in collaboration with industry professionals. They will be given the opportunity to create their own show incorporating playlists, quizzes, games, and radio plays, and building on the oral histories from the previous block by interviewing residents.

In Block 3, the young people will create a performative tour on a Kensington estate of their choosing. Building on the research from the previous two blocks, the young people will use the residents’ memories from the oral histories about their experiences of estate life as a starting point. Workshops from the Twentieth Century Society will teach them the skills to deliver guided tours. There will be opportunities to explore and discuss possible ideas to redevelop neglected areas of the estates.

 

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