Take an imaginative leap into stories of childhood, love, art-making, coming-of-age, sexuality, family, activism, conflict, community, music, dancing, and much more – each told by someone who lived through the momentous uprisings of 1981.
13th - 27th April 2023 - You have the opportunity to be a part of something fantastic happening in Windrush Square.
It is an important project and we are proud to be connected to it, through the work of Reclaiming Community Heritage. This is a project, pioneered by 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance, to enable our community, though creative interventions, to reclaim the history and heritage of 1981.
We’re excited to see this event launching in Windrush Square in Brixton today. This is a free family event produced by empathy museum and runs from 10am until 6pm daily until 27th April.
So - what is this all about?
In 1981, in Lambeth Town Hall, Lord Scarman held hearings of an Inquiry into what he called the “Brixton Disorders”. But, in the so-called “Scarman Report”, not everyone was heard. Over forty years later, “A Mile in My Shoes: Uprisings”, produced by Empathy Museum, as part of Reclaiming Community Heritage, brings back to Windrush Square, directly opposite the Town Hall, and amplifies the voices of folx who lived through the Uprisings – but are yet to be heard.
Walk a mile in the shoes of these ordinary people, while listening to their extraordinarily stories. Find out why, as Linton Kwesi Johnson, put it, 1981 is “the most significant date in the history of the black experience in Britain”. By listening, you will learn – and not just about Black lived experience in the Eighties. You will learn about our shared heritage. Because the Uprisings of 1981 are a heritage that we all, every one of us in Britain, inherit.
In April 1981, Black communities in Brixton rose up in bloody confrontation with the Met Police against a backdrop of racism, severe economic recession and high unemployment. A year before, Bristol had seen similar Uprisings and the summer of ‘81 saw further serious Uprisings right across England, not least in Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. It was a critical moment in the movement for social justice in Britain, leading not merely to landmark recommendations for police reform and local regeneration policies, but, crucially, to a new sense of Black British empowerment.
A Mile in My Shoes: 81 Uprisings brings together stories from people who were there at the time, and who felt the reverberations through homes, streets, and communities across the country – in ways we all still live with today. Find us in the heart of Brixton, swap your shoes for a pair donated by each of the 35 storytellers, grab some headphones, and head out on a physical and empathic journey that might change how you see the world.
More details are here: