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Sensing the city: Young people and regeneration in London

September 23rd, 2021

Cities are endlessly changing but who is change for? How do young people feel about regeneration of their neighbourhoods? How can we ensure young residents have a voice- and are heard - in critical planning decisions that affect their lives and their communities?

In 2020, The Ubele Initiative, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (UCL) and community organisation Pempeople came together to explore new methods of public voicing for young people. The result was a series of on-line, open-call participatory workshops with young people from Peckham and Brixton.

Facilitated by poet and performance artist Kat François and interdisciplinary media artist Daniel Oduntan, the sessions explored notions of belonging, change and displacement, race and labelling, Covid lockdowns and mental health, voicelessness and the importance of active listening when designing tools to empower. Participants experimented with poetry, spoken word, storytelling and mobile filmmaking, inside and outside the workshops.

This visual letter - Sensing the City: Young People and Regeneration in London - captures the essence of the workshops. Designed and edited by Daniel Oduntan in portrait as opposed to landscape, the video letter lends itself to mobile viewing, with the option of reading or listening to each voice note as chapter.

Peckham, The Old Kent Road and Brixton, like other parts of London, have experienced rapid change in the last 10-15 years. Ongoing regeneration and new planning proposals mean that radical change is likely to remain a defining feature for these neighbourhoods, that have long held particular significance for the African and Caribbean communities and black history in London. What is the place for young adults to shape the future of these neighbourhoods?

Join us on Friday 24th September at Livesey Exchange for the screening of Daniel Oduntan’s short film, part of the creative collaboration ‘Sensing the city’.

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