Known for rebellion and resilience, the South London suburb of Brixton - the symbolic frontline of Black Britain – faces a rapidly gentrifying present. Brent Clough takes a walk down memory lane to listen to the voices and music of its residents.
Average prices in London’s housing market are now eight times the median income. Home ownership in once proud working class boroughs is impossible for most locals, yet waves of gentrification are splashing through the grimiest corners of the metropolis, changing communities irrevocably.
Brixton in the South London borough of Lambeth is no exception. The symbolic ‘frontline’ for African-Caribbean migration to the UK, the suburb has long been known as a tough place, once synonymous with riots and reggae. These days its famous covered and open-air markets and much else besides are changing swiftly.
Brent Clough returns to his old Brixton haunts to discover a community that remains vibrant, creative and adaptable but also finds itself in the midst of rapid, disorienting transition.
Thanks to Blacker Dread, Brother Culture, Piki Bosch, Livingstone Brown, Alex Caramelino, Jerry Dammers, Stephen Edwards, Georgina Evans, Yvonne Gold, Monica Gonzalvez, Colin Grant, Jaja Soze, Jah Screechy, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kenness George Kelly aka Fowokan, Duncan Law, Diana and Bill Linskey, Errol Linton, Little Roy, Gerry Lyseight, Helen McDonald, Mad Professor, Malphino, Maxi Priest, Florence Nosegbe, Alan Piper, Paul Reid, Margot Rodway-Brown, Chris Salewicz, Maureen Samuel, Dan Shepherd, Paul Simonon, Brendan Tarring, Devon Thomas, Ashvin De Vos, Alex Wheatle.
This program was made possible by the Tony Barrell Fellowship, named after the late and much-missed ABC radio and television producer.
Music in the program:
Brixton Hall – Dennis Alcapone
Love in the Ghetto – Maxi Priest
Inglan is a Bitch – Linton Kwesi Johnson
Light work –Scampz
Freedom of Flesh – Helen McDonald and Future Groove
Brixton Bounce – Errol Linton
Warrior Charge – Aswad
Romans Dub – Black Slate
My Story - Jaja Soze
Why –Jaja Soze
Christopher Columbus dubplate – Little Roy
Concrete Jungle – Errol Linton
Alex Wheatle, Novelist Alex Wheatle on Brixton gentrification (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4by4BEPwAw)
Brixton splash 2013 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzPAtnA2Blk)
Linto Kwesi Johnsonin a documentary on Brixton from 1991 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp7xk6xnJ7o)
The 1981 Brixton uprising (http://www.theguardian.com/society/audio/2008/dec/17/brixton-riots-resident)
The black cultural archives (http://www.bcaheritage.org.uk/?option=com_content&view=article&id=23&Itemid=106)
Transition town Brixton (http://www.transitiontownbrixton.org/)
Urban 75A blog about Brixton (http://www.urban75.org/brixton/)